Child rescued by police after carjacking in the San Fernando Valley

Michelle Fisher Image
Wednesday, February 8, 2023
LAPD rescues child after carjacking in Van Nuys
Los Angeles police rescued a child who was in a vehicle that was carjacked in the San Fernando Valley Tuesday afternoon.

VAN NUYS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles police arrested a man suspected of carjacking a vehicle in Van Nuys with a 1-year-old boy still inside, but the child was safely rescued and reunited with family.

LAPD officers responded to the carjacking incident around 2 p.m. at a Starbucks in the area of Sherman Way and Woodman Avenue.

The child and the stolen Ford Escape were found a few blocks away near Woodman and Saticoy Street.

A suspect was taken into custody after he abandoned the vehicle and tried to run away, police said.

WATCH: Man held back by LAPD after trying to confront suspected carjacker

Footage captured a man who appeared to be a family member, possibly the child's father, confronting the suspected carjacking.

Footage from AIR7 HD showed police with the child moments after the rescue, safe in the arms of an officer. LAPD officers then reunited the child with family.

The child's father arrived at the scene and confronted the suspect before multiple officers led him away. The father, Gustavo Flores, said he was so furious he tried to punch the suspected carjacker.

Flores said he was at work when he found out about what happened to his son. He said his son was sleeping in the car when the boy's mother stopped to pick up a mobile order from Starbucks and was carjacked.

"I just kept saying 'let me have the baby.' I honestly don't think he realized that the baby was in the back seat," Laurina Esposito, the boy's mother, said about the suspect.

"I have nothing but gratitude for the police officers that helped," she said with her child in her arms. "They saved his life."