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Two sanitation workers are being recognized for their heroic actions after saving a 10-year-old girl from her kidnapper.

Jalisa Lasalle was abducted on the afternoon of Sunday, February 7 while riding scooters with her brothers by their home in New Iberia, Louisiana. Police believed she was in “imminent danger” and released an Amber Alert for her along with an arrest warrant for her alleged abductor, Michael Sereal. The alert detailed a gray 2012 Nissan Altima that Jalisa had last been seen getting into.

Pelican Waste & Debris workers Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine had just started their Monday morning route when they spotted a silver Nissan parked in the middle of a field in St. Martin Parish.

Merrick immediately recognized the car from the description given in the Amber Alert.

“I told the guy who rides with me, that’s the car. I pulled forward and backed up to block the entrance [to the field] and then called 911,” he said.

The driver then opened the car door and Antoine identified him as the man from the Alert and relayed the information to the 911 dispatcher.

Police arrived in under a minute.

Jalisa with Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, who spotted her abductor’s vehicle and notified police.

After a responding officer commended the men for their actions, Merrick began to tear up.

“She’s safe right now,” Merrick said, adding that he has a little girl of his own.

Michael Sereal, 33, was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping of a child and failure to register as a sex offender.

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