A last-second decision by a gas station clerk in California ended up saving a woman’s life, rescuing her from kidnappers.
This stranger’s touch leads to the arrest of four teens. A suspected kidnapping and sexual assault victim is now safe.
“For me, the whole thing was I needed to keep her safe and I needed to keep those guys here so they wouldn’t take off,” said 24-year old Savannah Pritchett.
The cashier at Waterford’s Triple R gas station said a frightened woman grabbed her arm then asked for help last Wednesday.
“These guys kidnapped me. They took her phones and threw ’em out the window and held her at gunpoint and she informed me that they sexually assaulted her,” said Pritchett.
Pritchett says she hid her in the bathroom.
“Gave her my cell phone and I locked the door,” said Pritchett. She told the woman to call the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department. Within a minute, two of the four suspected kidnappers tried to open the door the clerk locked.
“They asked me you know why’d you lock the door?” said Pritchett. “And I told them like she told me she started her period.”
The 18-year old in the white T-shirt has been identified as Anthony Sandoval. Pritchett says she knows Sandoval and other suspects as customers. She let the guys in.
Pritchett said, “For me, it was very weird because the guys that she’s with are my regular customers. I see them every day, 2 to 3 times a day.”
Within moments, the pair realized sheriff deputies are on their way. They beg Pritchett to hide them. She says no, then walks out as an armed officer makes his way in.
“I wasn’t trying to put anyone in jail,” said Pritchett.
She is now being held as a hero in the small town community of Waterford.
“There is no doubt that her quick thinking and willingness to help this victim helped us to take the suspects into custody and very well may have saved her life,” said Stanislaus County Sergeant Tom Letras.
Pritchett says: “I was just trying to help a woman who said she needed help.”