(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) — Quick-thinking Massachusetts police used a highway construction site to stop the vehicle of a suspected kidnapper and rescue an 11-year-old girl Wednesday night.
Charlotte Moccia, of Springfield, was rescued unharmed after she was apparently abducted after getting off the school bus on Wednesday afternoon.
The girl was forced into a dark blue Honda at about 1:26 p.m., “not long after she got off her school bus,” according to Massachusetts State Police.
Authorities issued an Amber Alert and released photos of Charlotte and the car they said was used in the abduction. At around 7:15 p.m., state police began receiving 911 calls from motorists on the Massachusetts Turnpike who had spotted the car near Brimfield, about half an hour from Springfield.
Acting quickly, officers used a road construction site along the turnpike to funnel traffic into one lane, and then slowed the traffic to a crawl.
When they spotted the suspect’s car, they stopped the vehicle and found Charlotte in the back seat, with the suspect in the driver’s seat and a knife visible in the pocket of the door, police said.
One officer got Charlotte out of the car while two others removed the suspect at gunpoint.
“She’s an amazing little girl,” said State Police Lt. Bob Ackerman of Charlotte, who attends Hampden Charter School of Science. “I can’t believe how strong she was dealing with this.”
Charlotte was transported to the hospital for precautionary evaluation, but had no apparent injuries according to authorities.
The suspect was taken into custody.
“We’re eternally grateful to the motorists that paid attention to the Amber Alert and called and reported seeing the vehicle,” said Lt. Charles Murray. “There were a number of those calls and they made this rescue possible.”
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