Woman held at knifepoint saved by Hackensack, NJ Good Samaritan
HACKENSACK – A 21-year-old man is in custody after police say his attempt to kidnap a woman at knifepoint was thwarted by a bystander who chose to intervene.
The victim, 52, told Hackensack Police she was near the intersection of Passaic Street and First Street around 3pm Monday when her attacker approached her with a kitchen knife . Captain Michael Antista said the man forced her to walk two blocks in an attempt to get her into a house, but someone heard her scream.
Willy Ortiz, Jr. told ABC 7 Eyewitness News that he approached them and asked the woman if she was okay. When it was clear she wasn’t, Ortiz pulled out his box cutter.
“I saw a kitchen knife on his neck, right on his neck,” Ortiz said. “He was just walking and guiding her, and you could see she was scared.”
The attacker, identified as Esben Sarabe, fled but not before taking the victim’s cellphone and bag, Antista said. Ortiz said his father called 911 and a neighbor showed up just in time to chase him.
“I jumped in my jeep and looked for him,” the unnamed neighbor told ABC 7. “I drove around the block and found him running behind a restaurant. He was standing I don’t know if he was scared or what, I told him not to move and stay there, and he did.”
sergeant. John Dalton and Staff Sgt. Sean Briggs arrived to arrest Sarabe and picked up the victim’s belongings, according to Antista. Surveillance footage released appeared to show Sarabe fleeing the scene.
“We can’t stress how much the two Samaritans who saw and called 911 definitely helped get this predator off the streets,” Briggs told ABC 7.
Antista said the woman was unharmed.
Sarabe turns 21 on Wednesday and celebrates her birthday in the Bergen County Jail. He is accused of kidnapping, armed robbery, possession of weapons and terrorist threats.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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