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‘That’s what we do:’ Seattle school bus driver saves child from kidnapping

SEATTLE (KOMO) — A 9-year-old girl was briefly kidnapped in Seattle as part of a carjacking. Lucky for her, her school bus driver came to the rescue.

On Jan. 28, bus driver Elsa Fox dropped off a fourth-grader here at the bus stop. She continued on her route, like normal, until all of a sudden a car whizzed by her — and a young girl was on the side of the road.

Authorities said the driver, who knew the young girl, forced her out of the car while it was still moving.

“So she waved me with her hands like this, she said, ‘Take me home, take me home. They were trying to kidnap me,'” Fox said.

The local sheriff’s office said the 9-year-old was kidnapped as part of a carjacking near the bus stop that Fox had just been at. Fox recognized the fourth-grader as one of her riders — and took her home.

“It’s just a blessing that we were there to help her,” said Fox. “You know, I’m a parent, and I think that’s the worst nightmare, that somebody takes your child.”

Police said the driver kept going down the road and tried to steal another car before a homeowner chased the suspect off with a pocket knife. Footage showed sheriff’s deputies at the scene. Upon arrest, the suspect told authorities that he had just used heroin, meth and marijuana.

On Jan. 29, that suspect — identified as 31-year-old Jessy Rylah — was in court.

Now, Fox is back on board and said she was just doing her job — getting her kids home, safely, no matter what.

“Because she needed help! That’s what we do. We take care of our community and our kids,” Fox said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Rylah and the 9-year-old were not strangers. A spokesperson said they knew each other, but it is not clear how. Rylah faces several charges including first-degree kidnapping, robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.

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