Berks

Reading man called 'hero' after helping end Amber Alert

'I dialed 911 and I took off after him'

READING, Pa. - Daniel Deturck said he's your average guy, a security guard who lives in Reading, but on Saturday, which started as a typical day for him, he became a hero.

"Got an orange juice, went to the bus stop, and I'm just sitting there minding my own business, waiting on a bus," said Deturck.

Then, an SUV pulled up. It matched the description of the one in the Amber Alert he had read on his phone minutes before.

"I happened to see the green Explorer come speeding up to the stop sign," said Deturck. "They stopped real quick, then just slowly eased around the corner."

Police were after 36-year-old Antonio Velasquez-Rupert. They said he abducted 8-month-old Ariella Downs in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania, which is 330 miles west of Reading. Thinking of his own two daughters, Deturck knew what he had to do.

"I dialed 911 and I took off after him," Deturck said.

Velazquez-Rupert now also faces homicide charges. The child's mother, Amanda, was found dead.

As for Deturck, he eventually lost sight of the SUV, but told dispatchers what he had seen. Minutes later, Velasquez-Rupert was in custody.

"I work in security," said Deturck. "We're trained to respond on anything and everything that we see, and my training kicked in.

"I just hope that people everywhere across the country can use me as an example, that there is a shining light worth standing up for... to do the right thing," said Deturck.

Deturck said he hopes anyone else would do the same thing; to have the courage to stand up for what's right.

"I'm just glad I was an adult that responded to help them get home safe, wherever home is," said Deturck.


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