A Northern California mother took her 11-year-old to the beach, but it wasn’t for a day of fun and sun.

As KRCTV reports, once at the beach, Kimberly Felder stripped off her daughter’s clothes and began forcing sand down her child’s throat and into her eyes.

Felder is accused of viciously biting, choking, and beating her daughter as part of an “exorcism.” The 45-year-old mother claimed she was trying to remove demons from her child with the attack.

Screenshot/KRCRTV

Thankfully, John Marciel turned into the girl’s hero that day.

The man, who was on his way to his son’s graduation with some out of town guests, happened to stop by the beach as the attack was happening.

According to ABC News, Marciel told The Associated Press that the mother questioned him about his faith.

When Marciel jumped in to save the girl, Felder was using a piece of driftwood to bash her daughter’s head. Marciel stayed on the phone with the 911 dispatcher as he fought to hold Felder back.

Screenshot/KRCRTV

Marciel said of the incident:

“When you see something like this, it shakes your foundation and faith in people.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office hailed Marciel for saving the child in a press release:

“If it were not for the intervention and heroic actions of John Marciel, it is very likely that the child would have been killed by Felder. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to offer special thanks for his assistance.”

The Sheriff’s Office is also requesting that Marciel be recognized for the Red Cross Life Saving Award.

Marciel described the toughest part of rescuing the child, which had to do with the horrific abuse by her mother:

“The worst thing was when we got the child away and into the sheriff’s truck, she said people drove by and nobody stopped.”

The mother was arrested for investigation of attempted homicide, child abuse, aggravated mayhem, and assault with a deadly weapon.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Greg Allen said the girl was treated for multiple injuries from the attack, including severe damage to her right ear and was placed in protective child custody.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is asking that anyone with information regarding this case contact them at 707-445-7251 or the Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

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