Two sanitation workers rescue kidnapped girl, 10, from registered sex offender after they recognize her abductor’s car from Amber Alert and use their garbage truck to box it in
Police put out an alert for the kidnapper’s car after Jalisa Lasalle, 10, went missing on Sunday
Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine spotted the Nissan in a field and boxed it and alerted authorities who arrested the kidnapper, Michael Sereal
‘Thank god they got him now,’ said Merrick, who says he is the father of a little girl. ‘I just saved that little girl’s life’
Sereal has a history of flouting sex offender registration rules in Louisiana since a 2006 conviction for carnal knowledge of a juvenile
His initial 10-year suspended sentence was converted into real prison time after he had violated the terms of his probation in 2007
In 2019 he was again charged with failing to register and last December an arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear at a court hearing
The search for a missing Louisiana child ended a dyay later when two quick-thinking sanitation workers helped to rescue the ten-year-old girl who was kidnapped by a convicted sex offender in Louisiana.
Jalisa Lasalle went missing on Sunday, with state police putting out an amber alert as they searched for her abductor who was last seen driving a Nissan sedan.
On Sunday morning, two Pelican Waste & Debris employees, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, were driving their route at around 7am when they spotted the advertised kidnapper’s car and recognized it from the alert.
Merrick and Antoine took swift action, using their garbage truck to block the Nissan’s exit and stop it from escaping, and calling the police.
When police arrived, they arrested registered sex offender Michael Sereal, 33, and rescued ten-year-old Lasalle from his car.
Sereal who is now in jail accused of aggravated kidnapping, has a history of failing to follow state sex offender rules, records show.
Cellphone video, taken by Merrick, shows Sereal being arrested by police and walked to their car as the sanitation worker addresses the camera.
‘Thank god they got him now,’ said Merrick, who says he is the father of a little girl. ‘I just saved that little girl’s life. They got him, thanks to two Pelican drivers.’
‘That girl is ten years old. The car right there the girl is safe right now, thank god, because I have a little girl.’
‘Something told me… what’s that car doing off in the field like that? That’s the dude with the little girl,’ he said.
A law enforcement official at the scene thanked the pair for a ‘great job’ in the footage, while Merrick said he was ‘just doing my job’.
‘I called the cops, they saved that little girl’s life,’ he said. ‘I blocked that truck in, make sure [he] couldn’t get out.’
Pelican Waste & Debris paid tribute to its employees on social media, giving them a ‘huge shoutout’ and adding: ‘Way to go guys!’.
Jalisa was given a medical examination after her ordeal, local media said.
The 10-year-old had been reported missing from a family member’s home on Monday afternoon, having last been seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.
But shortly before 7am the following morning, Merrick and Antoine spotted the vehicle while working their shift.
‘Local authorities were immediately contacted and Sereal was taken into custody,’ the New Iberia police department said.
‘Sereal was taken into custody by St. Martin Parish Deputies and then transferred to the custody of the New Iberia Police Department where he is being arrested for aggravated kidnapping. Jalisa was found safe!’.
Sereal is also accused of failing to register as a sex offender, according to jailhouse records.
According to KATC, Sereal has a history of flouting sex offender registration rules in Louisiana since a 2006 conviction for carnal knowledge of a juvenile.
He was initially given a 10-year suspended sentence, but it was converted into real prison time after a court found he had violated the terms of his probation in 2007.
In 2019 he was again charged with failing to register, and last December an arrest warrant was issued after he failed to appear at a court hearing.