SANTA ANA ( – A Santa Ana father swooped in to save his three-year-old son who police say was attacked by a transient while his parents were paying for parking.

Authorities say the suspect put a sharp metal object to the child’s throat, started backing away and told the family they would never see him alive again.

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Roberto Cortes acted quickly and pulled his son away.

“When he went like this, then I grabbed my hand and put my hand underneath and grabbed my son,” Cortes gestured. “And during the altercation he stabbed me in the arm with the ice pick.”

His son, Christopher, was not seriously hurt. Cortes held the man until police arrived.

The child’s brother, 14-year-old Jonathan Cortes, watched with his family in horror as it all unfolded.

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“[He] put a knife – like an ice pick – to his throat,” the teen remembered. “He said, ‘Your son is going to die. This is the last time you’re going to see him.’ He lifted up his hand and said he was going … to kill him or something.”

The family was given medals for their bravery after Jonathan’s soccer game Friday.

“My coach, he wanted to thank us and to show everybody how they have to we took care of their kids. And he wanted to thank us how we weren’t scared to jump in and help my little brother,” he said.

CBS2/KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports the suspect is facing a string of felony charges.

Police have not yet determined a motive in the case.

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