911 Call by Malibu Mechanic Helps Save Kidnapping Victim
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
A gas station mechanic at the now defunct Arco station on the corner of PCH and Heathercliff Road, reportedly played a key role in the rescue of a 17-year-old kidnap victim, on June 12.
The victim signaled the mechanic and several bystanders that she was in distress, when her alleged kidnapper made her pull into the station for gas.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department PIO Nicole Nishida confirmed that Alexis Fantauzzi, 28, was arrested in Malibu, and booked for multiple felonies, including kidnapping; kidnapping with the intent to commit another crime, annoy or molest a child; carjacking; vandalism; and attempting to escape arrest.
The victim's ordeal began while she was on her way to school. Fantauzzi, described as a transient, reportedly forced his way into her vehicle while she was stopped at the traffic signal at Webb Way on PCH. According to Nishida, Fantauzzi drove around Malibu for several hours with the victim in the vehicle before he ordered her to pull into the service station where she was finally able to signal that she needed help.
Sheriff's deputies from the Lost Hills Station were able to quickly locate and intercept the vehicle and rescue the victim.
The vandalism charge is reportedly related to damage done to the vehicle by Fantauzzi during the incident.
He is due to appear in court at the LAX Courthouse on June 28.
The incident happened on the last day the ARCO station was open for business. The station has been sold to a new company and the mechanics' shop is now closed.
"It was pure good luck that things worked out the way they did," one witness told the Malibu Surfside News.