‘Kidnapping’ is foiled by LA cops after Good Samaritan spots a man putting an unconscious woman in his van in West Hollywood
Fernando Diaz of Palmdale, 50, was arrested at approximately 2 a.m. on Friday by Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Deputies on felony kidnapping charges
A witness may have saved the life of an unconscious woman after he saw a man carrying her to a waiting van, at around closing time in West Hollywood’s nightlife district.
Fernando Diaz of Palmdale, 50, was arrested at approximately 2 a.m. on Friday by Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Deputies on felony kidnapping charges.
He was released pending trial on a $100,000 bail bond on Saturday, according to the department.
A Good Samaritan had flagged down Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Herrera after he witnessed Diaz carrying the unconscious woman into his white 1997 Dodge Ram van.
Police said that the woman had recently left a bar on Melrose Avenue near Robertson Boulevard.
Herrera told KNBC-TV Channel 4 that he began tailing the offending van. When Diaz noticed him, he pulled over and walked away from the vehicle.
The officer opened the van and found the woman inside who ‘appeared confused, did not know where she was, did not know whose van she was in,’ but was otherwise unharmed.
‘Had the deputy not intervened, he would have left with her,’ Lt. Jose Aguirre of the Sheriff’s Department’s West Hollywood substation told the LA Times.
Diaz was arrested but two people, claiming to be family members, insist it is a misunderstanding.
They told KNBC that Diaz was employed by a medical transport company for disabled patients, and was simply trying to help the woman who was heavily intoxicated.
A witnessed notified police when he saw Diaz place an unconscious woman in his 1997 Dodge Ram van and drive away
Deputies are still investigating the incident; two alleged relatives of Diaz said that he is employed with a medical transport company and may have been trying to help the victim
The would-be kidnapping took place after the woman left a bar on Melrose Avenue near Robertson Boulevard (intersection pictured)