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Churchgoers help save kidnapped child at motel

A kidnapped girl is safe at home after two churchgoers in Fort Worth, Texas spotted the kidnapper’s car and called police. Law enforcement is calling them heroes.

Eight-year-old Salem Sabatka was found safe around 2:00 am local time Sunday, and the 51-year-old man accused of abducting her was taken into custody, Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson Buddy Calzada told reporters.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling,” he said. “This story right now would put a smile on anybody’s face.”

Sabatka and her mother were walking in their neighborhood together Saturday evening when the suspect drove up, grabbed the girl, and dragged her to his car.  The woman tried to fight the man, but police said the suspect shoved her out of the car and got away.

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The woman immediately called 911 to report the abduction.

The Fort Worth Police Department issued an Amber Alert and posted images of the girl and the suspect’s vehicle on social media to help spread the word.  They also included a video of the kidnapping that was caught by a doorbell camera nearby.

Calzada said two people going to church spotted the suspect’s car at a local hotel.  The pair said they recognized the vehicle from the department’s social media posts and called the police.

“The police department is extremely proud of them, and I’m sure we’re going to bring them into the light here pretty soon,” Calzada said. “They’re our heroes tonight, I’ll tell you that.”

Police found the young girl safe at the hotel. She was checked out at a local hospital before being reunited with her family.

The suspect, Michael Webb, now faces charges of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.