A 55-year-old man accused of terrorizing a young boy on his way to soccer practice by picking him up and sniffing at him was arraigned Wednesday in Santa Ana.
Victor Joseph Espinoza, who police say is a lifetime gang member, was charged with one count of false imprisonment and one count of street terrorism in the Oct. 7 incident on a bicycle trail in Delhi Park in Santa Ana.
Police said the 10-year-old boy was walking to soccer practice with his 19-year-old female cousin when they were approached by Espinoza, who is 5' 8" tall and weighs 430 pounds.
“The big guy confronts them and says he wants to show them his tattoo,” said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department. “He grabs the 10-year-old with both hands, pulls him into his body and starts smelling him.”
The boy and his cousin screamed, Bertagna said, and the child was able to break away. They ran to the soccer coach, who unsuccessfully tried to tackle Espinoza.
Espinoza, who lives in Santa Ana, was later captured while hiding in a nearby yard, Bertagna said.