OMAHA, NE (KHBS) – An Omaha man is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl Sunday night.
“There was a bunch of police cars and the lady was crying and everything,” one neighbor said.
“There was a helicopter going around here for maybe like 15, 20 minutes,” another said.
Neighbors described the manhunt Sunday night that ended in an arrest. Twenty-nine-year-old Gabriel Cardona was arrested. He’s accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl in her home near 35th and L.
Police said the girl’s mother walked in on him. Then, neighbors said, he took off. They immediately began searching for him.
“We kind of helped the police out by checking around,” a neighbor said. “A couple hours later they had discovered that the man was hiding up the street in a house.”
The girl’s mother said she knew the man. The police report shows the young girl and Cardona share an address.
Joanna Halbur, with the Child Saving Institute, said this situation is difficult for both parents and children.
“Often it’s someone that the parents trusted, someone the child trusted, and that trust has obviously been broken and so that’s really hard to make sense of and hard to figure out what’s going on,” Halbur said.
Their job is to help children move forward and heal through play-therapy.
She said they work with the whole family.
“Often they’re having the same big feelings. They’re having the same struggles that the kids are having. They’re having lots of feelings of guilt, and worry and lots of concern for their child,” Halbur said.
Neighbors said they hope Cardona is punished to the fullest extent.
“I feel like the man deserves a lot of punishment for that because that’s a little girl, scarred for life.”