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CLARIFICATIONS: Re: multiple agencies involved; our officer was on phone with CHP dispatcher. We are uncertain if other units were in pursuit. San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department handled arrest; Also: incident started at about 2 p.m. and ended at about 3 p.m.

Two Riverside County Animal Services helped alert law enforcement to what appeared to be an attempted kidnapping.

The officers, Lt. Luis Rosa and Sgt. Miguel Hernandez, noticed a woman waving to them from the back of a sport utility vehicle on Interstate 10. The woman appeared to be in distress, Lt. Rosa said.

Lt. Rosa was driving east at about 2 p.m. on Interstate 10 in the Cabazon area when the woman got their attention. Recognizing the woman needed assistance, Sgt. Hernandez immediately called 911.

The driver of the maroon SUV zipped across multiple lanes, possibly to get away from Lt. Rosa's county vehicle, an SUV only marked with County of Riverside on the door panels.

"She was waving to us, as if to say, 'Help me! Help me!' " Lt. Rosa said. "She must have seen us in our uniforms. He cut us off and got off the freeway."

The man exited at Haugen-Lehmann Way, but Lt. Rosa pulled over, put his vehicle in reverse on the side of the freeway, exited and tried to track where the man was headed. Ultimately, the driver got back on Interstate 10 and headed east again.

Lt. Rosa continued to follow cautiously as his colleague updated an emergency dispatcher on their location. The man exited the 10 and got on Highway 62 toward Yucca Valley. Deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department were finally able to get the man to pull over and surrender.

"We don't know all the details, but today felt very good that we may have helped her out," Lt. Rosa said. "We'll never know for sure, but we feel that we may have saved her life and maybe stopped him from taking his own life. We hope she'll be OK."

Media representatives are asked to contact law enforcement agencies for information about the pursuit and the arrest. We have one or two photos from the scene. Those will come in a follow-up e-mail.

Contact a Shelter

Western Riverside: (951) 358-7387 (PETS)
San Jacinto: (951) 358-7387
Coachella Valley: (760) 343-3644
Blythe: (760) 921-7857

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