A man who was seen in West Hollywood carrying an unconscious woman into a white van and driving away has been arrested and charged with kidnapping, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said Saturday.

A man with gray hair was seen carrying the woman, who had recently left a bar on Melrose Avenue near Robertson Boulevard, into a white 1997 Dodge Ram van about 2 a.m. Friday, said Lt. Jose Aguirre of the Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood substation.

As the van started to pull away, a witness flagged down a passing Sheriff’s Department patrol car and reported what he had seen, Aguirre said.

The deputy, Kevin Herrera, told NBC Los Angeles that the witness pulled up next to him and told him what had happened. When he began following the van in his patrol car, the van’s driver parked and walked away.

Herrera said he opened the van’s door and found a woman inside who “appeared confused, did not know where she was, did not know whose van she was in.”

“Had the deputy not intervened, he would have left with her,” Aguirre said. The woman was not hurt, he said.

Fernando Diaz, 50, was booked at 3:15 a.m. Friday and has been charged with felony kidnapping, Aguirre said. He was released Saturday morning on $100,000 bail, according to Sheriff’s Department records.

Two people who spoke to NBC Los Angeles and did not provide their names said that Diaz works in medical transportation for disabled patients, and was trying to help someone who was lost and intoxicated.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Det. Cynthia Mejia at (310) 358-4028 or anonymously (800) 222-TIPS (8477).





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