The El Paso Police Department is crediting the six workers for the arrest.
The men -- Ulises Prado, Mario Banuelos-Valenzuela, Hector Rodriguez, Irving Martinez, Jose Luna and Hugo Uribe -- chased Pacheco, caught him and held him until police arrived. Prado jumped into an irrigation canal to save the child, whom Pacheco had put in the canal, according to police reports.
The six tree cutters work for the Asplundh Tree Expert Co., which is contracted by El Paso Electric Co., to remove tree limbs near electrical lines.
According to reports, about 12:54 p.m. Thursday, the men were driving back to their
work site in the 400 block of Turnstone Drive when they stopped their truck in front of a house because a ball had rolled into the road.
Once the truck stopped, one of the children who was playing in the fenced-in house opened the gate to get the ball but left the gate open, Uribe said.
Luna said that is when the men noticed Pacheco walking a dog.
The men said Pacheco began talking to them before pulling out a knife and jumping on a step on the truck, allegedly trying to "stab" them.
"We drove off, and he fell off the truck," Luna said.
Banuelos-Valenzuela watched Pacheco in a side mirror and saw Pacheco grab a girl from the house with the open gate.
"When I saw him grab the kid, I said let's make a U-turn," Banuelos-Valenzuela said.
The group of men along with brothers and sisters of the girl chased Pacheco south on Turnstone Drive toward River Bend Drive.
After Pacheco crossed River Bend, he jumped into an irrigation canal with the girl in his arms, Prado said.
"He jumped in and crawled up the other side of the canal, and that's when I saw he dropped the girl in the water," Prado said. "I jumped in after her. She had trouble breathing, so I patted her on her chest and back a little bit. She was fine. She was only in there for about five seconds."
Luna said that after Prado rescued the girl, Pacheco jumped into the water and threatened the group of men with a knife. Sometime during that episode, Pacheco took his clothes off and came out naked with the knife in his hand, the men said.
Police said the six men, along with another person, wrestled Pacheco down and held him until police arrived. The name of the other person is not known.
Pacheco, who lives less than a block away from the girl's family, was arrested.
The girl was returned to her family unharmed, police said.
"Thank God nothing happened to the girl," Martinez said. "She had no scratches or anything."
The six men went back to work Friday morning a block from the girl's house and the canal.
Prado and Banuelos-Valenzuela briefly reunited with the girl. Her parents were thankful and took a picture of the girl in Prado's arms.
The girl was taken to a doctor to be checked Thursday. The parents did not want to comment and wanted to keep their daughter's identity private.
Prado was excited to see the girl again. He said he didn't even have time to think about his actions on Thursday. "It was a surprise because it happened from one second to another," Prado said. "We weren't expecting it at all. Our instincts just took over."
Rodriguez said he just acted the way he would want anyone else to if the child were his.
"I was thinking of my daughter," Rodriguez said. "She is about the same age."
The six men agreed that something was not right about Pacheco. They said he did not make sense when he spoke.
Neighbors said he lives alone and has had episodes of strange behavior in the past.
One neighbor said Pacheco was polite and respectful.
A third neighbor said police had been called by Pacheco in the past.
Police said Pacheco called them on Sunday to report that his neighbors had loud music. Police responded but took no action.
Pacheco was still in the El Paso County Jail on Friday, his bond set at $150,000.
He is facing charges of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly attacking Banuelos-Valenzuela and Luna.