Appalling moment creep with long criminal history jumps out of his car and tries to ABDUCT screaming girl, 11, as she walked to her elementary school in Arizona

  • An Arizona man with a long criminal history tried to kidnap an 11-year-old schoolgirl on her way to elementary school
  • Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth-grader in Glendale around 8 a.m. Friday.
  • Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school

This is the shocking moment an Arizona man with a long criminal history tried to kidnap an 11-year-old schoolgirl on her way to elementary school.

Joseph Leroy Ruiz (37) was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth grader in Glendale around 8 a.m. on Friday.

Police rushed to Sunset Elementary School on Peoria Avenue when staff reported the attempted kidnapping before 9 a.m.

The young girl told police she left her apartment building and noticed a ‘suspicious’ man at the bottom of the stairs.

The man gave the girl “a strange look” and she ran through her apartment complex. Moments later as she reached the street, a silver car stopped in front of her.

Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth-grader in Glendale around 8 a.m. Friday.

Joseph Leroy Ruiz, 37, was arrested after he tried to grab the fifth-grader in Glendale around 8 a.m. Friday.

Police identified Ruiz's car on video of the incident and arrested him

Police identified Ruiz’s car on video of the incident and arrested him

The girl recognized the same man from the apartment building, jumped out of the car and ran toward her, she later told police.

She screamed and yelled for help as she ran to some of her friends as the suspect followed her for a short distance before getting back into his car and driving away, police said.

Three of the child’s friends walked her to school where she reported the terrifying incident.

She described the man as bearded and wearing blue sweatpants and a black jacket with a hood pulled over his head.

Police identified Ruiz’s car on video of the incident and arrested him.

He was charged with kidnapping and custodial interference.

Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school

Ruiz chased the girl before she managed to find shelter with her friends who escorted her to school

Ruiz has prior violent felony convictions, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges from 2013, Glendale Police revealed.

“As a father myself, as a parent, it’s very scary that she was targeted on her normal walk to school,” said Glendale Police Officer Moroni Mendez.

“Someone tried to take her away from her loving family,” Mendez continued.

On Friday, the Washington Elementary School District sent a letter to parents detailing the incident and providing safety tips for both parents and students.

The District also praised the courage of their student and the quick response of the local police.