ASCENSION PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) – An Ascension Parish deputy’s swift actions led to the rescue of a seven-year-old girl who’d been kidnapped in December of 2021, authorities say.

According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office (APSO), Staff Sergeant Jake Garcia wasn’t even on duty when he stepped in to help facilitate the rescue.

APSO says Garcia was on a lunch break when he realized he was near the location of a suspect who’d been accused of abducting a child.

The Advocate identifies the suspect as 41-year-old Chad Guillot.

Guillot allegedly stole a vehicle and then kidnapped the seven-year-old in Baton Rouge before leading authorities on a vehicular chase into Ascension Parish.

According to the Advocate, this is where Garcia got wind of the situation.

The news outlet says as the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office (EBRSO) was warning nearby law enforcement agencies about the stolen vehicle and abducted child, Garcia overheard the warnings and then learned the stolen vehicle had just been picked up by a license plate reader on La. 42.

This was the very road Garcia was on, the Advocate says; but he was headed in the opposite direction.

After quickly turning around, Garcia pursued Guillot and alerted other officers of his whereabouts, The Advocate reports.

Eventually, Garcia and other deputies were able to apprehend Guillot and rescue the little girl.

APSO says Garcia’s “swift actions and exceptional execution of training” helped save the child’s life and “get an offender off the streets.”

Every day, law enforcement officers put on their badges to protect and serve, sometimes at the risk of putting their own lives in danger. Thank you SSG. Garcia, APSO Deputies, and all the men and women who work to keep our communities safe.

Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office

Authorities say Guillot was charged with multiple traffic and drug paraphernalia counts as well as aggravated flight from an officer, child desertion, cruelty to a juvenile, possession of illegal drugs in the presence of a juvenile, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and felony illegal possession of the car.

According to The Advocate, Guillot was seen in court Tuesday and a judge decided that prosecutors have probable cause to continue holding him on the previously mentioned charges.

His next court date in Ascension is set for early October.