Appalling moment creep with long criminal history jumps out of his car and tries to ABDUCT screaming girl, 11, as she walked to her elementary school in Arizona

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina
  • An Arizona man with a long criminal history attempted to kidnap an 11-year-old schoolgirl on her way to elementary school 
  • Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth grader in Glendale around 8 am on Friday 
  • Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school  

This is shocking moment an Arizona man with a long criminal history attempted to kidnap an 11-year-old schoolgirl on her way to elementary school. 

Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth grader in Glendale around 8:00am on Friday. 

Police rushed to Sunset Elementary School on Peoria avenue, when staff reported the attempted kidnapping before 9:00 am.

The young girl told police she left her apartment building and noticed a ‘suspicious’ man at the bottom of the staircase. 

The man gave the girl ‘an odd look’ and she ran through her apartment complex.  Moments later when she reached the street, a silver car stopped in front of her.

Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth grader in Glendale around 8 am on Friday

Police identified Ruiz's car from surveillance video of the incident and took him into custody

Police identified Ruiz’s car from surveillance video of the incident and took him into custody

The girl recognized the same man from the apartment building jump out of the car and run towards her, she later told police. 

She screamed and yelled for help as she ran toward some of her friends as the suspect followed her for a short distance before getting back in his car and driving away, police said. 

Three of the child’s friends walked her to school where she reported the frightening incident. 

She described the man as bearded and wearing a blue sweatpants, and a black jacket with a hood pulled over his head.

Police identified Ruiz’s car from surveillance video of the incident and took him into custody.

He was charged with kidnapping and custodial interference. 

Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school

Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school

Ruiz has prior violent offenses, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges from 2013, Glendale Police revealed.  

‘As a father myself, as a parent, it’s very frightening that on her normal walk to school, she was targeted,’ said Glendale police officer Moroni Mendez.

‘Someone tried to take her away from her loving family’ Mendez following.

On Friday, the Washington Elementary School District sent a letter to parents detailing the incident and providing safety tips for both parents and students. 

The District also praised the courage of their student and the swift response of local police.  

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

Leave a Comment