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Gas station clerk recalls the moments he called 911 for kidnapping victims

Posted at 4:57 PM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-26 09:37:58-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — It was an unusual day at work for gas station clerk James Lawrence.

“I was sitting there making coffee— getting it ready for the customers for the morning shift and a lady comes in dressed in a gray hoodie. [She was dressed] in nothing but a gray hoodie and pink panties," he recalled.

He didn’t know at the time there was an amber alert out for the woman and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

“All I know is that I could tell she was getting ready to cry and she said please call 911 I’ve been abducted,“ said Lawrence

He said she came in with a cut on her hand and told him that if he didn’t call the police she would end up somewhere in Mexico.

“So, I took the partial plate, and as soon as they pulled out I took the rest of it. Then I called 9-1-1 after that," he said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sent out an alert that the woman and her baby were kidnapped by the father of the child in the Pico Rivera area.

That’s about two hours north of the gas station.

Sheriff’s deputies said the woman was battered and injured.

“People nowadays treating people like that—I find it kind of stupid for one. Two, they ought to just be locked up for it,“ said Lawrence.

Lawrence said he’s glad he could help out.

“I wouldn’t consider myself a hero. I’m just an everyday person doing their job," he said.

The woman was taken to the hospital and her one-and-a-half-year-old daughter is safe. Jail records show the suspect is in custody.