Taking Out The Trash – Two Sanitation Workers Help In Rescue Of Kidnapped Girl
Sanitation workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine are used to clearing garbage from the streets, but took their job to another level this week.
Merrick and Antoine were on their usual route in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, when they spotted a silver vehicle matching the description from a recently issued Amber alert. The men sprang into action.
They immediately called 911 to report the vehicle, and used their garbage truck to block the only path out.
Pelican Waste & Debris workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine knew something was amiss when they spotted a silver sedan in the middle of a field about 20 miles away in St. Martin Parish while on their trash pickup route on Monday morning.
“Something told me … I said, what’s that car doing off in the field like that?” Merrick said in a video posted to Facebook Live.
They then used the garbage truck to block the car from escaping and called police, Merrick said.
“I blocked the truck in, [making] sure he couldn’t get out,” he said.
After a responding officer commended the men for their actions, Merrick began to tear up.
“She’s safe right now,” Merrick said, adding that he has a little girl of his own.
Those actions resulted in the successful rescue of 10 year old Jalisa Lasalle, who had been kidnapped. Jalisa appeared to be unharmed.
Convicted sex offnder Michael Sereal was arrested, and Merrick and Antoine are being credited for their quick response.
The Amber alert was named after Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old girl abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas in 1996. It is used in all 50 states, in Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, and 33 other countries.
The official website credits 1,029 children being recovered through the Amber Alert, as of December 20, 2020.