Kidnapped girl, 8, rescued by police in dramatic footage
The dramatic police rescue of a kidnapped eight-year-old girl has been captured in bodycam footage.
Salem Sabatka was snatched in broad daylight by 51-year-old Michael Webb as she walked with her mother in Fort Worth, Texas, on 18 May.
The next day, officers burst into a Texas hotel room and arrested her abductor at the scene.
The girl emerged from a laundry basket a few moments later and an officer, in full protective gear, carried her out of the building.
“Here she is,” an officer can be heard saying in the footage. “Got her, we got her, we got her.”
Salem Sabatka’s mother was unable to fight Webb off as he bundled the child into his vehicle and drove off.
She called the emergency services and police immediately went searching for Salem.
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A tip-off led police to a hotel in the nearby Forest Hills area, but officers could not find the child on the first visit and left.
Officers from the Fort Worth police department went to the same hotel following another tip-off, and eventually arrested Webb.
The child had been hiding underneath a pile of clothes and was afraid to make any noise because the suspect had threatened to hurt her and her family.
The bodycam footage shows officers taking down Webb in the hallway of the hotel, as another carries the child out of the room.
Webb was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. A jury took less than 10 minutes to convict him during the trial in September.
Last week, he was sentenced to life in prison.
Following the sentencing, Erin Nealy Cox, the US attorney for the Northern District of Texas, told reporters: “We believe that justice has been served in this case”.
“My hope is that this family and this community will find solace in knowing that he will never be able to harm another little child again.”