Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, two Louisiana sanitation workers are being applauded for their quick thinking that rescued 10-year-old Jalisa Lasalle who’d been abducted from a relative’s home on Sunday (February 7).
Authorities released an Amber Alert describing a gray 2012 Nissan Altima that Jalisa was last seen getting into was released overnight.
Merrick and Antoine, who are employed by Pelican Waste & Debris, noticed a silver car in the middle of a field in St. Martin Parish, about 20 miles away from New Iberia, while they were on their pickup route Monday morning (February 8).
“Something told me… I said, what’s that car doing off in the field like that?,” Merrick said in a video on Facebook Live.
The duo used the garbage truck to block the car from potentially driving away and called the police.
“I blocked the truck in, [making] sure he couldn’t get out,” Merrick said.
When police arrived at the scene, they complimented the men on their quick thinking. Merrick teared up talking about what had happened, “She’s safe right now,” he said, noting that he has his own daughter.
The suspect, 33-year-old Michael Sereal, was arrested and currently faces charges of aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender and is currently being held at the Iberia Parish Jail. According to a report by KATC, Sereal is an acquaintance of one of Jalisa’s relatives.
Louisiana State Police reported that Jalisa was evaluated by medical personnel after being rescued, and police say the investigation is ongoing at this time.
Photo: Getty Images