An 11-year-old girl was rescued from her abductor by quick-thinking Massachusetts police Wednesday night.
Charlotte Moccia was apparently abducted by Miguel Rodriguez after getting off her school bus earlier that afternoon. According to the arrest warrant, Rodriguez allegedly threatened the child with a knife and told her he would kill her if she screamed or tried to escape.
According to police, the girl was forced into a dark blue Honda around 1:26 p.m., “not long after she got off her school bus.”
Maggie Kenney, a neighbor, witnessed the ordeal.
“He just grabbed her and threw her in the back seat,” Kenney told WCVB. “He was screaming. She was saying, ‘Stop, put me down, stop, put me down.'”
After issuing an Amber Alert and releasing photos of Charlotte and the car, authorities started receiving 911 calls from motorists who spotted the vehicle on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Acting quickly, officers used a road construction site along the turnpike to funnel traffic into one lane, slowing traffic to a crawl.
When they spotted the suspect’s car, they stopped the vehicle and found Charlotte in the backseat, with the 24-year-old Rodriguez in the driver’s seat and a knife visible in the pocket of the door, police said.
One of the officers got Charlotte out of the car while two others removed Rodriguez at gunpoint.
Charlotte was unharmed.
“She’s an amazing little girl,” said State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman. “I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”
Charlotte was taken to a hospital for a precautionary evaluation, authorities said.
“We’re eternally grateful to the motorists that paid attention to the Amber Alert and called and reported seeing the vehicle,” said Lt. Charles Murray. “There were a number of those calls and they made this rescue possible.”
According to the arrest warrant, two days before Charlotte was abducted, the father of another girl in the area said the same car approached his daughter and tried to get her to come inside the vehicle. The girl called her father, who came and picked her up and took a picture of the license plate on the car, which was the same one used in Charlotte’s abduction.
A judge denied Rodriguez bail on Thursday.