California police arrested a man who was masturbating in his car before attempting to kidnap a 13-year-old girl on her way to school Friday.
In a news release, the Sacramento Police Department said officers responded to an elementary school Friday morning after receiving a report of an "attempt-kidnapping incident." The unidentified victim was walking to the school when the suspect, 20-year-old Joseph Dumarce, pulled up next to her and asked her for directions.
"As the victim started to answer the suspect's questions, she noticed the suspect was masturbating," police said.
When the girl attempted to walk away, Dumarce drove past the victim and pulled his car in front of her. He then got out of the car and tried to "pull the victim into the back seat." The girl, however, was able to escape and run into the school.
Police arrived at the scene and did an extensive canvas of the neighborhood. The suspect's vehicle was captured in CCTV footage and police asked the public to help identify the suspect, who was described as a male Hispanic adult in his 20's, with a medium build and black "spikey" hair.
"The Sacramento Police Department encourages people to be aware of their surroundings and immediately call 911 to report such behavior. We are committed to working with our community to identify and locate the suspect responsible for this crime," the police department said in a news release Friday, adding that anybody who submitted a tip to the police "may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000."
The CCTV footage and the victim's description helped police arrest Dumarce on Saturday.
"After extensive follow-up investigation and diligent work by patrol officers, detectives and patrol supervisors, the suspect responsible for this crime has been arrested for kidnapping," police said.
Speaking to Fox 40, Sofia Nyothson, whose home is near the school, said she felt safe letting her children play outside her home until the news of the attempted abduction spread.
"It's a wake-up call. It's unbelievable. Kids should feel safe. We should be safe for our kids to walk to school, walk home from school, walk with their friends. I'm at a loss for words. It's scary," she said, adding she would have to keep a close eye on her children from now.
"I can get them up and at least watch them get across the street now, normally I trust them to walk with their friends. It woke me up, it did," she added.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.