Two young women are being praised for their actions that may have saved the life of an 8-year-old boy who was being attacked at the Mount Hope Cemetery on Saturday.
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"All I see is a man wrapped up with three kids and blood," said Corey Granberry, who was with her friend Jaymisha Pires on their way into the cemetery in the 3700 block of Market Street.
At about 4:30 p.m., they were flagged down by the children's mother and found a frantic man, 30-year-old Joseph Ramirez, holding three children hostage by a grave surrounded with plastic bottles and candles. Ramirez's family members told 10News the grave is that of Ramirez's uncle.
"My friend, she went over there and tried to beg the guy to let go of the kids and we got two of the girls but he was still holding on the boy and that's when we saw he was cut up," said Granberry.
Police say Ramirez said he heard the voice of his dead grandmother telling him to sacrifice the boy, then took a piece of glass from a broken candle and slashed both of the boy's forearms.
"He was like, 'Daddy, no
Don't hurt me, ow,' because his arms were hurting," said Pires.
The two then called 911. Granberry walked the two small girls to a safe distance while Pires pleaded with Ramirez to release the boy.
"Yeah, I was talking to him," she said. "I was just asking him, 'Can you give me the kids?' He was like, 'No, these are my kids. We're going to Jesus."
Granberry added, "He said, 'I want to sacrifice him. He needs to go with grandma or mom' or something."
By the time police arrived, Ramirez had turned the boy over to the two young women. Police said they are thankful to Granberry and Pires for stepping in to help.
"It is very amazing," said San Diego police Lt. Joseph Ramos. "Both of these young women who came in to help today I went over and thanked them but my understanding after talking to the officers here is that they were very instrumental in keeping the children from being further harmed."
Ramos said a security guard at the cemetery was also helpful to police.
The boy is being treated at Rady Children's Hospital.
Ramirez is being held at the Central Jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and cruelty to a child. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.
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