Perez recognized the man's truck from a police description.
He saw the little girl inside a truck, and used his own vehicle to block the vehicle, giving the girl a chance to escape.
"Thank you very much Victor. I just want to give you an award that we put together for you which is a special award for heroism,'' said Schwarzenegger.
Perez is an unemployed construction worker.
Schwarzenegger made a personal appeal to local businesses to help him find a job.