SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/CNN) - Massachusetts police are praising a couple for helping locate the suspect in the abduction of an 11-year-old girl.
Charlotte Moccia was kidnapped Wednesday. Witnesses said the child was fighting her abductor as she was forced into a blue Honda Civic.
A couple spotted that car and helped lead police to the suspect and Charlotte.
Miguel Rodriquez, 24, has been arrested in connection with the abduction of the little girl. Police said he has a criminal history.
Amanda Disley and her husband Benny Correa were just picking up dinner Wednesday night, all while reports spread of the abduction.
They were at a stop sign when they spotted the car.
“I said, ‘Yo babe, that’s that car. That’s that car! I seen that car. You showed me that car. That’s the car!’” Correa said.
To make sure they weren’t mistaken, Disley quickly pulled up a picture of the suspected car she saw on Facebook. That’s when they took a right and began to follow it.
“The car was dark, dark, dark, at least 5-percent tint," Correa said. "When I seen it, I knew it was the car. So I pulled up against it when I got to Harvey Street, and I flashed my high beams, and the guy pulls up his hood and covers his face and started to dart up Harvey Street and I darted right behind him.”
In this exclusive video from the couple, you can see that they follow behind him while on the phone with 911.
“My husband reversed on the main road. ... He jumped over a curb and that’s when the high beams flashed right into his driver and I saw his complete face. He threw the hood back over his face, and I saw someone in the backseat pushing someone down. And that’s when - when he noticed that we were really chasing him all the way down the side streets, he just started blowing through every single red light and my husband blew threw every single red light with him.” Disley said.
The couple was not giving up and refused to let the suspect get away. They never expected to be in that position, with their own five kids in their car, but they knew that in the car they were chasing, it was possibly life or death for another child.
“I feel relieved we didn’t chase the wrong person, and I feel relieved my husband stepped up and that we got the plates because the plates lead to them finding him on the highway because there was no notice of any plates,” Disley said.
The two praised police for their response because as they were chasing the suspect, they ran out of gas. Their car also took a beating.
“We blew our suspension, our tire. I hit some dirt. I almost killed me and my kids because I jumped in front of cars and blew through red lights and ... but I wasn’t thinking about that," Correa said. "I played it safe. I looked both ways before I crossed the street, made sure there were no cars coming before I ate the red. And I was on him.”
Hours later and still trying to process what they just did has been difficult, they say, but they said it’s exactly what they hope anyone would’ve done when a child’s life is at stake.
“It takes a village,” Disley said.
“It’s a city. It’s our city," Correa said. "We don’t do that kind of stuff around here. That’s not how we play. There’s zero tolerance for that.”
While their car is damaged, they say that’s nothing considering the role they played in making sure Charlotte is back with her family and safe.