Many people refer to protective mothers as “mama bears,” because when a child is in danger the claws come out. It doesn’t even have to be a related child: When a caring parent sees any child in danger, they are compelled to act.
That’s what happened for Amanda Disley and Benny Correa of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Early in the evening on Wednesday, Disley saw an alert for a kidnapped 11-year-old girl in their area. She shared it on Facebook and showed Correa, her husband.
“Someone gotta know this car,” she posted along with photos from a news site.
“SPD is seeking your help to locate 11 year old Charlotte Moccia,” the Springfield Police Department shared. “She was last seen on Lafayette Street around 1:30pm. She was returning home from Hampden Charter School. This is being treated as a possible abduction.”
“A blue or dark Honda with dark tinted windows is believed to be involved. If you have any information please call 9-1-1 or Text a Tip anonymously. An Amber Alert has been issued.”
As Disley, Correa and their five kids went out to get some food for dinner, they spotted a vaguely familiar vehicle.
“I said, ‘Yo babe, that’s that car. That’s that car, I seen that car. You showed me that car. That’s the car,'” Correa told KOLD-TV.
“The car was dark, dark, dark, at least 5-percent tint,” Correa continued. “When I seen it, I knew it was the car. So I pulled up against it when I got up to Harvey Street, and I flashed my high beams, and the guy pulls up his hood and covers his face and started to dart up Harvey Street and I darted right behind him.”
“My husband reversed on the main road,” Disley said. “He jumped over a curb and that’s when the high beams flashed right into his driver and I saw his complete face. He threw the hood back over his face, and I saw someone in the backseat pushing someone down. And that’s when … when he noticed that we were really chasing him when he did all the side streets, he just started blowing through every single red light and my husband blew threw every single red light with him.”
They managed to give dispatchers the car’s license plate, but they had to give up the chase when their car ran out of gas.
“We blew our suspension,” Correa said. “I hit some dirt.”
Though the couple’s car sustained some damage and some have questioned Correa’s decision to pursue the suspect with his own kids in the car, he said he was aware and careful not to take too many risks. They feared that if they gave up the chase, the poor girl would meet a horrible end.
“I played it safe,” he said. “I looked both ways before I crossed the street, I made sure there was no cars coming before I ate the red. And I was on him.”
“Some of the video sorry for dramaticness but when I saw the person in the back seat being pushed down all we could think about is her and the danger she was in wasn’t even sure if it was the right car just the gut feeling my husband and i had by the rims and the funny movements in the car,” Disley posted on her Facebook page with video of the pursuit.
The parents were glad they could help get Moccia home, as cops were able to stop 24-year-old Miguel Rodriguez and rescue the girl a short while later.
“It’s our city,” Correa said. “We don’t do that stuff around here. That’s not how we play. … There’s zero tolerance for that.”
According to Disley’s Facebook page, a wave of GoFundMe accounts have popped up purporting to be for her and her husband, but she says they’re scams and the couple isn’t affiliated with any of them.
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