Newly released video of the roadside rescue of a toddler who was abducted from her New York City apartment by her father shows state troopers rushing the man's minivan with guns drawn just hours after the abduction led to an Amber Alert.
The video, posted to the New Jersey State Police's Facebook page, shows police cruisers swarming the minivan driven by 51-year-old Diomedes Valenzuela, a former New Jersey police officer, on the Garden State Parkway near Clifton. Once the van is stopped on the side of the road, a half-dozen troopers get out with guns drawn. A pair can be seen yanking Valenzuela out of the driver's side, while a second runs around to rescue the man's 3-year-old daughter.
The video shows the swift response following the activation of an Amber Alert Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say that Valenzuela took his daughter after stabbing the girl's 31-year-old mother several times at an apartment in the Bronx.
He took off in the van after the abduction, sparking an hours-long search that ended with the decisive stop at about 5 p.m.
"Troopers never know how a suspect will react. These types of situations are extremely dangerous and volatile. It could have gone badly yesterday, but thankfully it didn't. No one was hurt, and that's the most important thing," the state police said in a Facebook post.
Authorities have said that social media helped police track down Valenzuela and his daughter.
The girl was said to be safe after the abduction; her mother was last listed in serious condition at St. Barnabas Hospital.
An extradition hearing is scheduled Thursday.
Valenzuela is a former New Jersey police officer, according to officials.
NJ.com reports that Valenzuela was an Irvington police officer until March 2002. He was suspended after charges were filed against him in connection with his November 2001 arrest of a taxi driver.
He was found guilty of filing false reports and stripped of his badge.
The investigation is ongoing. It was not immediately clear if Valenzuela had an attorney.