March 20, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A good Samaritan who stopped the would-be kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl by a registered sex offender was presented with an award of recognition at last night’s 104th Precinct Community Council Meeting.
Ridgewood resident Alexander Salas retold the story of the December morning when he confronted a sex offender who was trying to force a young girl into a car.
Salas was inside his home on Center Street on Saturday, Dec. 15, when, around 7:50 a.m., he heard a faint scream outside his window. Salas looked out his window expecting to have to tell kids playing outside to quiet down, but instead saw a man holding a young girl sideways, trying to force her into a car while she fought back.
“It didn’t seem right so I opened the window and told him to get the F off of her,” Salas said. “He turned to me and told me to ‘Mind your business. What are you, a superhero?’”
Salas then yelled out to the girl, asking if she knew him. When she said ‘No, please help me,’ Salas immediately grabbed his baseball bat and ran outside in his underwear, not even stopping to put shoes on.
When he got outside, the attempted captor, later identified as 40-year-old Glendale resident Relyn Estrada, pulled out his own bat and began swinging at Salas, all while refusing to let go of the girl.
Officer Louis Marinacci and Detective Anthony Wright of the 104 Precinct, which had been called by Salas’ wife from inside their home, arrived on the scene. Estrada released the girl, who had been on her way to a weekend program at I.S. 77, and she ran over to aides from the school. Estrada then began shouting that he had done nothing wrong.
“I’ve been on the job approximately 13 years,” said Marinacci. “I’ve never responded to a call like this before.”
Estrada was put under arrest and charged with kidnapping, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and failure to report a change of address as a sex offender. He has been behind bars since the incident, police said.
Estrada was registered as a sex offender in 2001 after sexually assaulting a woman.
“If it wasn’t for Mr. Salas’s heroics and cooperating with the police, we might have had a different outcome,” said Commanding Officer John Mastronardi. “And because of what he did—and I assure you it’s what he did—and the police’s response and the protection of the events that followed, we would not be standing here today in success. There are truly angels that walk around us and Mr. Salas, that day you were an angel. You came out and saved that girl’s life. I have no doubt in my mind.”
Salas was also presented with a certificate of appreciation from the NYPD Special Victims Unit.
Marinacci and Wright were awarded Cop of the Month awards, along with citations from the offices of Council Member Robert Holden, Assembly Member Brian Barnwell and State Assembly Member Michael Miller.