Six heroes in the El Paso community were honored today after saving a toddler earlier this month.
On Aug. 16, police said 34-year-old Rolando Pacheco kidnapped an 18-month girl from her Upper Valley yard.
According to police, it all began when six workers of Asplundh Tree Expert Company were threatened by Rolando Pacheco with a knife.
A police arrest affidavit said the workers then watched Pacheco snatch an 18-month-girl from the brothers she was playing with in her front yard.
According to Irving Martinez, one of the six men, that's when the crew's instincts kicked in.
"We were there for protecting her and saving her family," Martinez said.
Officials said the workers chased Pacheco to a canal, where he let the girl go in the water.
One worker then jumped into the canal to grab the girl, who was face down in the water, while the others restrained Pacheco, according to police.
Today, El Paso Electric Company gave the tree trimming crew its "Star Award" to honor their act of heroism.
Asplundh Tree Expert Company is contracted by El Paso Electric to remove trees near power lines. That is why they were in the vicinity during the kidnapping.
During the award ceremony, the men met with the toddler's grandmother for the first time. It was an emotional moment for all parties involved.
"God put them on this earth for a reason, and that was one day that they really did something miraculous, and we're forever grateful," said grandmother Anna Mata.
Martinez said he is proud of himself and the five other men. He added a suggestion to the El Paso community.
"Unfortunately, so many people just see something wrong and just keep going. ...I encourage all the city to do a quick action for someone who's in danger," Martinez said.
The men were also awarded the "Honorary Deputy Sheriff Award" by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office last Friday.
Pacheco was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to police.