County DA Honors Malibu Heroes Who Saved Kidnapping Victim

Joseph Evans

Local heroes Joseph Evans and Michael Miller, who helped thwart an attempted Malibu kidnapping in 2012, received Courageous Citizen Awards from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office this week.

On June 12, 2012, while at the gas station at Pacific Coast Highway and Emily Shane Way, Miller noticed a young, visibly distressed girl in the passenger seat of a car.

“I just remember the girl turning to me when she was seated in the car at the gas station and looking at me and pleading with me to help her,” he said in an interview for the Malibu Times’ Dolphin Award. “I wanted to know what was wrong, and that was why I intervened.”

Miller immediately took action, confronting the man who had been driving the car, 28-year-old Alexis Fantauzzi, and told him to release the girl. Fantauzzi refused and drove away, prompting Miller to call 911.

The mother of the victim attended the awards luncheon on Wednesday, which also recognized three other heroes from the Los Angeles area. She said her daughter is now a junior in college and if not for those two men, she’d be dead no question, no question.”

Joseph Evans had been filling up on gas during the confrontation and he felt that the situation would be resolved with police involvement. He left the gas station, driving towards Kanan Dume Road on his way to work. A short while later he saw the car with the man and the young girl pulled over on the side of the road. Evans called the police again and updated them on the assailant’s location. Until the police arrived and tracked down the car, Evans followed the kidnapper up and down Kanan and PCH, making sure the young girl was safe until police arrived.

“It was just right place at the right time,” said Evans.