An off-duty Salt Lake police officer working a part-time security job is being credited with saving a teenage girl who was kidnapped and in the process of being sexually assaulted by two men.
Just after 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the officer, who was hired by Tesoro to do security at their refinery, 1600 N. 1200 West, came across a parked vehicle that was out of place, said Salt Lake police detective Jared Wihongi.
While watching the vehicle, he spotted a girl in the backseat who mouthed the words "Help me," he said. When the officer approached the car, he found a man in the backseat attempting to sexually assault the girl and another man trying to hide in the front seat. Both were placed in handcuffs and arrested.
The 17-year-old victim, the officer learned, was kidnapped while walking near 500 N. Redwood Road. The men pulled up next to her and threatened to harm her if she didn't get into their car, Wihongi said.
Ricardo Ruiz, 25, and Gonzalo Romero-Cacho, 36, were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault and attempted rape.