A Lancaster teenager who helped to rescue a 5-year-old girl from her abductor was honored for his bravery Tuesday night in Washington when the Nationals baseball team hosted the Atlanta Braves.
Chris Garcia was the center of attention at home plate before the game, as the announcer told the crowd about the bravery of Garcia and his friend, Temar Boggs.
Garcia and Boggs had heard about the abduction and were searching for the girl on bicycles when they spotted her in a car in their apartment complex. They gave chase until the driver stopped and let the girl go.
Garcia got more than a shout-out at the Nationals game; he got autographs, his picture on the Jumbotron, and he got to throw out the first pitch.
"I seen all the people out in the crowd. I was nervous, but then it was a great feeling because I had that baseball player with me, too," Garcia said. "I was like yeah. I actually threw the first pitch and I was like 'woo!' It was awesome."
The bravery of Garcia and Boggs had received the attention of The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The CEO of the organization, John Ryan, was supposed to throw out that pitch.
"And I said, 'you know, the real heroes, they're not me. They're the folks who are on the ground who are actually rescuing children,' " Ryan said. "I read about Chris and Temar and said, 'wouldn't it be great to reach out to them?' "
"It's a good feeling for them to call me a hero, but at the end of the day, I'm still the same kid I was," Garcia said.
Boggs was also invited to the game, but was unable to attend.