Santa Ana Man Arrested After Allegedly Trying to Kidnap Boy, 10

The boy's soccer coach tackled the man but was unable to detain him, police said

A Santa Ana man who allegedly tried to grab a 10-year-old boy from soccer practice was arrested Thursday evening after a police search on foot and by helicopter.

Victor Joseph Espinoza, 55, was found hiding in a residential backyard near Delhi Park after he fled when the boy's soccer coach tried to detain him, according to Santa Ana Police Department.

The victim was walking to soccer practice with his 19-year-old female cousin when the suspect "lured the victim close enough to grab him," the department said in a press release.

When the boy was able to break free, he and his cousin ran to tell the soccer coach, who confronted the suspect. When Espinoza tried to flee, the coach tackled him, but was unable to detain the 425-pound man, police said.

Espinoza was arrested behind a home in the 500 block of East Central Avenue (map).

Espinoza was booked for false imprisonment, child annoying, and gang enhancements, as he was a documented gang member, police said.


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