Good Samaritan saves girl from alleged abuser in stranded van

Good Samaritan saves girl from alleged abuser in stranded van

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Richard Velasco, 23. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Police) Richard Velasco, 23. (Photo courtesy of Chicago Police)
CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A good Samaritan who helped a stranded motorist in the North Center neighborhood Monday ended up saving a 14-year-old girl from the driver, who was allegedly trying to molest her, authorities said.

The bystander was sitting on his porch in the 1800 block of West Cuyler Avenue just before 10:30 a.m. when he saw a van run out of gas in the street, a police source said.

He went to help and pushed the van to a parking spot, police said. But when the driver was distracted, a 14-year-old passenger told the good Samaritan the driver had tried to sexually assault her in the van.

The bystander took the girl into his home and called police. Responding officers arrested the driver, identified as 23-year-old Richard Velasco, of the 4100 block of North Mango Avenue, police said.

Velasco was charged with one count each of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a victim between 13 and 17 years old, and attempted criminal sexual assault, police said.

Velasco was ordered held on $300,000 bond and will next appear in court Sept. 3, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office.

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