Passerby helps 16-year-old escape kidnapping

Police say a man tried to kidnap a Lanier High student on Renton Drive on Monday, April 11, 2016. (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police have arrested 30-year-old Philip Gamez, accused of attempting to kidnap a 16-year-old female walking home from school, according to the affidavit.

A 911 caller told police April 11, he had helped a female who was about to become a kidnapping victim. Officers arrived at the 8200 block of Renton Dr. to search for the suspect described as a heavy-set Hispanic male, later identified as Gamez.

The witness who helped the young girl said he heard screaming and saw the teen fighting a man outside his front door around 4:50 p.m. The affidavit states, the witness knew the situation was serious when he saw Gamez “bear hug” the girl, lifting her in the air and attempt to put her in the passenger seat of a nearby Chevy Tahoe.

The victim told officers she was walking home from school when she “felt someone running behind her,” states the affidavit. She told officers she turned around and saw a man charging towards her. He picked her up and grabbed her by the torso as she fought the kidnapper who pushed her inside the vehicle.

Once he saw the girl “pushed” into the car, the witness said he immediately ran and opened the door to help her escape. It was then Gamez walked over to the passenger side of the car and pushed the girl back inside while he confronted the witness.

According to the victim, she escaped the vehicle during a physical altercation between the witness and suspect. She said she observed the witness hit the suspect while she retreated to safety. The affidavit states, Gamez immediately sped off.

Officers noted the victim sustained several injuries from the incident. She had bruising on one of her arms and her right ankle was swollen. During police questioning she told officers she did not know the suspect and lost her shoe, purse, and phone during the kidnapping.

Gamez was caught after police saw a vehicle matching the kidnapper’s Chevy slam on its brakes upon seeing patrol cars. Initially the suspect did not stop; when he was finally pulled over officers identified him as Philip Gamez, who matched the kidnapper’s description. Gamez was arrested for attempted kidnapping.

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