Good Samaritan helps prevent kidnapping in San Francisco's Cow Hollow neighborhood

Image 1 of 2

San Francisco Police say they have arrested a Cotati man for trying to kidnap a woman off the street in the city's Cow Hollow neighborhood Saturday night.

Witnesses say the suspect put a black bag over the woman's head and tried to drag her into his car around 9 p.m.

Authorities said he might have gotten away with the victim if bystanders hadn't intervened.

An 18-year-old man and his girlfriend were sitting in a parked car and watched the man, who appeared to be in his forties, put the bag over the victim's head.

"[It happened] on the 2800 block on Steiner Street. We had an assault. It was an attempted kidnapping of a female walking down the sidewalk," sid Lt. Michael Nevin, acting captain at Northern Station.

The couple in the car honked their horn several times, alerting neighbors who ran out of their homes. Together they chased off the suspect and the victim was able to break free.

"[She survived], thankfully, due to the actions of Good Samaritans or I should say, great Samaritans who came to the aid of the victim," said Lt. Nevin.

The victim, a 31-year-old woman, did not know her alleged attacker. She had been walking home from her work shift in the Marina District when the incident happened.

"We were shocked as anybody would be that that sort of thing is going on in our neighborhood," said Lynda Boyden, who lives across the street from Saint Vincent de Paul Church and school which is just around the corner from where the attempted kidnapping happened.

"We walk around here all the time at night and never would have imagined to even worry about that sort of thing," said Boyden.

Based on witness testimony and surveillance footage, investigators put out an alert and were able to track the suspect's car in the North Bay in less than 24 hours.

Sunday evening, CA highway patrol officers tried to pull the suspect over, but the suspect sped off, leading them on a high speed chase. He ultimately crashed in Petaluma where he was taken into police custody. During the chase, the driver of another car, unrelated to the case, was hit by the suspect's vehicle and received minor injuries.

This botched kidnapping comes one month after another kidnapping in West Portal when Good Samaritans stepped into save a 13-year-old girl being forced into a car.

Police were able to pinpoint suspect Lee Eigl in just hours. SFPD has a message for any would-be kidnappers.

"You are going to get the attention of the 2100 members of the San Francisco Police Department," said Lt. Nevin sternly, "And we will stop at nothing to find you and stop you."

Watch KTVU news at 5 p.m. for Tara Moriarty's report.