Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
A 6-year-old Ohio girl was taking out the trash Aug. 23 when her screams echoed in the Hamilton, Ohio, neighborhood where she lives.
Only a few seconds of the family’s doorbell video made it plain why — a man had come along who appeared to try to abduct the girl, according to Fox News.
“This guy walks by and he touched me. He pulled me,” Ken’Adi Nash said in an ABC segment that aired on “Good Morning America.”
She said although he grabbed her hand, her screams ended whatever plan he had in mind.
“He just let go of me because I screamed,” she said.
Deric McPherson, 33, allegedly tried to drag the girl away, police said. He was later charged with abduction and gross sexual imposition, Fox reported.
“He wouldn’t have let go of her if she wouldn’t have pulled and screamed like she did,” the girl’s father Ricky Nash said on “Good Morning America.”
The girl ran into the house to alert her family, leading her father to follow the suspect even as police were summoned.
“I chased him like he still had my kid,” Ricky Nash said. “Definitely didn’t want him to be able to go snatch another kid.”
“When the cops put him in handcuffs, it took so much anguish away,” Ricky Nash said.
Mandie Nash, the girl’s mother, said her daughter’s quick thinking saved her.
“I’m so proud of her. So proud of her,” Mandie Nash said. “Because as soon as she screamed, he let go. So obviously, you know, it does work.”
Callahan Walsh, a child advocate at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said the girl “did everything right in this case. She was kicking, screaming, pulling away. It’s exactly what we teach kids what to do when a would-be abductor tries to grab them.”
“In fact, there’s a lot to learn from these attempted abductions,” Walsh said.
Walsh said that “over 83 percent of the time, when a child is able to get away from their would-be abductor, it’s something that they did proactively, like kicking, screaming or pulling away, exactly what she did in this case. She’s the reason why she’s home safe tonight.”
Walsh urged parents to teach children about safety while they are young.
“Start with things like walking through your neighborhood, pointing out which houses your child could go to in an emergency, what their neighbors’ names are, what their parents’ full names are, what phone number and what home address they have,” Walsh said.
“These are things that you can teach your young kids, the basics of child safety, but of course, as they get older, so should the messaging. Make sure when you start young that it’s simple, it’s easy for kids to understand and it’s not overwhelming,” he said.
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