BREMEN, Ga. — Seven-year-old Brittney Baxter was looking at princess toys at a Walmart in Bremen, Georgia, when a man grabbed her and tried to carry her away.
But Baxter fought back.
“I was kicking and screaming, and then he put his hand over my mouth, but I kept kicking,” she said.
The man is seen on store surveillance footage carrying Baxter as she thrashes around, trying to get away. Once she starts kicking the man puts her down and takes off running.
Bremen police later arrested 25-year-old Thomas Andrew Woods. He was later charged with attempted kidnapping. Other charges are pending.
Police said Woods was out on parole after being convicted of voluntary manslaughter.
Kansas City-area law enforcement officers who have viewed the video say that it was both a scary situation and a learning opportunity for parents.
“I think part of the problem is kids are raised to listen to adults and do what an adult tells you, but when it’s a stranger abduction absolutely, the girl did a great job,” said Capt. Steve Young of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. “In fact, I tell my kids if a stranger grabs you or picks you up, you go crazy. Don’t waste your time trying to get away, go into attack mode, don’t waste your energy trying to get away. You put that on them and you make them want to put you down.”
Young says that statistics show in true stranger-danger situations, the child often ends up dead within a few hours of the abduction. So he says that it’s best for a child to fight back as hard as they can as soon as they can.