Mesa officer finds abducted girl, buys new bike for Christmas - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Mesa police officer finds abducted girl, buys her a new bike for Christmas

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Officer Appel and the 8-year-old girl Officer Appel and the 8-year-old girl
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MESA, Ariz. -

An 8-year-old girl is spending Christmas safe and sound with her family just days after police say a man kidnapped her as she rode her bicycle.

Mesa Police had to take that little girl's bike in as evidence, which is why an officer decided to give her a brand new one -- in time for Christmas.

That officer was the one who rescued her after she got away from the suspect.

Officer Jonathon Appel was the first officer in the area where the little girl was abducted.  He felt so connected to this child that he paid for the bike out of his own pocket.

Police say 22-year-old Robert Milliron grabbed the child off her bike, then drove off.  When he crashed in an alley, the girl escaped and went running into the arms of Appel.

"As soon as I saw her, I knew that it was her and we had this moment of silence where neither of us knew what to do or what to say to each other.. it was a very heartwarming and gratifying experience to find her and bring her back to her home," said Appel.

Once taking the girl back to an apartment complex near Dobson and Broadway, Officer Appel spent time with her.

"She and I had quite a bit of a rapport and it was part of my job to distract her from just happened, so we talked about some of her favorite things and what she wanted for Christmas one of her most favorite things was to ride her bicycle ya know and that eventually she would like a new one," he said.

When police took her bike as evidence just a few days before Christmas, Officer Appel called her mother and asked if he could take the same little girl he saved to the store to buy her a brand new bike.

"When I showed up, she was dressed very nicely, she had a great ride in the back of the car, we had a great time selecting her bike at the store," said Appel.

Not only was Officer Appel worried about the little girl being without a bike on Christmas, he also wanted her to have a new one so she could make new memories on it.

Follow this story: Police ID suspect who allegedly abducted 8-year-old Mesa girl

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