VAN NUYS, Calif. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) – Authorities arrested a man after he allegedly stole a car in Van Nuys and took off with a child inside.
With a wave and a smile, James returns to the family car with his mother as the driver. Not the one who was arrested for stealing a car with a child in it.
It suddenly happened in the San Fernando Valley.
Two separate crime scenes, separated by less than a mile, and protective parents intervened at each location.
“I think that’s what any father would do,” said Gustavo Flores, James’ father.
Jump into action
James’ mother, Laurina Esposito, got out of the car at Starbucks to quickly pick up an order she had already made on the phone.
“He was asleep, I was stupid and left with him and the baby in the car,” Esposito said.
But Esposito did.
“I chased the car and caught it. I tried to catch him. At least if I could catch him and the person caught the car. [I grabbed on for] probably a solid 15-20 seconds. I chased him all the way and I might not even know [if I got hurt]as long as he’s OK, that’s all I care about,” Esposito said.
A dead end
A man also heard Esposito’s screams at the Starbucks and tried to follow the getaway car.
“He was [a real] an angel,” praised Esposito.
A prospective car dealer headed to Panorama City.
“I was just driving and a car hit me. We followed it.”
Lulu says that Ford has nowhere to go.
“He pulled away [into a dead end] and all the way down. “I didn’t want to face him because he was running away from us,” said Lulu.
Behind the helicopters
Police quickly took him and Flores into custody.
“He was looking for cars and he went after the helicopters,” Esposito said.
The helicopters moved Flores to second.
“When I saw the suspect in handcuffs, I just went after him, I got mad for a moment. The officer pulled me aside and told me to calm down or they’re going to handcuff me,” Flores said.
What about James? He was a very good sport through it all.