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Longtime Malibu Resident Says Kidnapped Girl Pleaded For Help

Michael Miller said he called the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after trying to intervene in the kidnapping of a girl in Malibu last week.

A Malibu man who was instrumental in the capture of a transient accused of kidnapping a teenager at a Pacific Coast Highway intersection said it was an obvious choice to try and help the girl.

"It was not a hard choice. It was pretty obvious," said Michael Miller, who has lived in Malibu for 50 years. "We’re all concerned that our children are safe."

Detectives have said Miller's quick actions led to the arrest of 28-year-old Alexis Fantauzzi, who is accused of kidnapping a 17-year-old girl on June 12 as she was waiting in her car at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Webb Way in Malibu.

Miller, 65, said he was picking up a freezer from the Arco gas station on Heathercliff Road and Pacific Coast Highway for his business, Hibiscus Real Shaved Ice, when he noticed a girl crying in the passenger side of an older-model gray SUV.

"She seemed to be crying," Miller said. "She was very upset about something. I saw her and I looked and she was with a guy. I figured maybe they had a fight or something."

Miller said that he went back to his business, but glanced back at the girl less than a minute later.

"She’s looking toward me and she seems almost hysterical," Miller said. "She’s pleading through the window of the car. She’s pleading ‘Please, help me. Help me. Help me, please,’ I was able to read by watching her lips move."

Miller walked up to the man—later identified as Alexis Fantauzzi—and confronted him.

"I asked the guy who was trying to put gas in the SUV, I asked ‘What is going on here?’” Miller said.

Fantauzzi did not respond and looked down at the ground, he said.

"I stood in front of the car and I said to him, 'Look, you might as well let this girl get out of the car and leave now. If you leave with her, I will have to call the police. One way or the other you’ve got to let this girl get out of the car,'" Miller said.

Again, the man did not answer Miller's questions.

"He just got in the car. I was in the front of it so he backed out. I went inside and called 911," Miller said, adding that he gave the dispatcher a description of the suspect, the car and the girl.

Miller said he got a call 15 minutes later from Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department detectives, who reported they arrested the man and rescued the girl.

"The sheriff’s are the ones who really need to get the kudos here," Miller said. "We’re very lucky to have those guys, for them to be so responsive and to immediately get people out there looking for her. I’m very grateful."

Fantauzzi is and is due in court on June 28.

Beth Sebastian Salazar June 24, 2012 at 09:49 AM
you make the difference! ! I just hope there will be more conscious people like you ...the word is concern to the welfare of others.....God bless you more abundantly in your daily life.....take care...
Thomas Scott June 26, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The bad guy could have been armed, there might have been more bad guys in the back of the car, etc. Many reasons why its better to be cautious. Besides, Miller's actions did lead to a good ending. Knucklehead's got it right.
Thomas Scott June 26, 2012 at 03:45 PM
I've got a daughter and three granddaughters. You prevented what is my worst nightmare; a creep meaning to do harm to a girl/woman. Thanks to you, there's one less threat on the streets now. Thanks Michael!
Vinda June 26, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Fantastic more people need to get involved I once got 86ed from nail salon (vip nails on ventura)because I witness mother abusing her child and confronted her took down her license and called police ..went back to salon weeks later to get manicure and I was denied service ... Would do it again !!!thank you !!! Mr miller ... Scary I use to work down the street from where that girl got kidnapped
Eve June 26, 2012 at 11:49 PM
I hope my children never find themselves in trouble like this but if they do I pray someone as caring as you crosses their path. You saved her life and you deserve to be applauded. God bless you!

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