A quick-thinking boy who saw a would-be kidnapper try to kidnap his 8-year-old sister fought off his assailant by shooting him with a slingshot, police say.
The incident occurred at an undisclosed location in Alpena Township in northern Michigan. The girl was looking for mushrooms in her backyard when a stranger came out of the nearby woods and tried to drag her back into the woods. He covered her mouth as she struggled, but her 13-year-old brother had witnessed what happened from her bedroom window and began shooting at her attacker with her gun, police say. Michigan State.
The incident occurred on Wednesday but was not made public until Friday. Since 2010, an average of 350 people under the age of 21 have been kidnapped by strangers each year, according to the FBI. But in this case, the teen’s quick action and accurate shots saved his sister as the shooter fled the scene.
The suspect was struck in the head and chest with slingshots and “that made him drop,” Lt. John Grimshaw, commander of the local Michigan State Police post, told 9 and 10 News. “The girl was able to struggle and escape and was fired another shot that hit the suspect in the chest and then fled the scene.”
The brothers’ family raised the alarm and soldiers found the suspect, a 17-year-old boy, hiding at a nearby gas station. “What he [the brother] It also helped us identify who the suspect was because he obviously had injuries from being hit with a slingshot,” Grimshaw said.
The girl and her family were incredibly shocked by the traumatic incident, he added.
The lieutenant gave some harsh advice to children who should ever find themselves in a similar situation: “Fight, fight, do everything you can; bite the hand[…] Stomp on their feet, kick them in the shins, do what you can to fight,” he said. “And then if your mouth is free, scream as loud as you can.”
The girl’s uncle news week unnamed, posted on Facebook: “Hello everyone, earlier today my niece was almost kidnapped in her own backyard here in Alpena, on the southern edge of town, a 17 year old with a black crest grabbed my niece and tried to kidnapped her my nephew heard her scream and saw through her window and shot the guy with a slingshot the guy let him go they called the police they found out the guy is in custody now outside playing we really need to lend pay attention to what they are doing and who is around them. I am so proud of my nephew and I know my niece is traumatized and I am sending prayers for her, they must have been extremely scary for her.”
No further details have been released due to the suspect’s age, but police say he confessed to planning to severely beat the boy. He was charged as an adult Thursday with attempted kidnapping, attempted assault to cause great bodily harm less than murder, and one count of assault and battery. He was booked into jail on a $150,000 bond.
news week contacted Michigan State Police by email Saturday for more information and comment.
This case is not the only one featuring a heroic child thwarting a kidnapper. In 2018, 13-year-old Jayme Closs made international headlines after escaping from captivity after 88 days. She had been kidnapped by an intruder who murdered her parents but managed to escape from the box where she was being held. Jake Patterson pleaded guilty to the horrific crimes and in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
And last month, a missing 13-year-old girl was found locked in a man’s shed in Dallas after authorities said he lured her out of the home using methods “consistent with grooming.” The alleged kidnapper, Jorge Iván Santos Camacho, 34, now faces a series of felony charges.
However, children abducted by strangers are rare, authorities say. Far more common is parental abduction, when the child is smuggled from a former partner or a non-biological caregiver, such as an adoptive parent.
Last month, one such case had a happy ending when the Washington state girl Aranza María Ochoa López, who was kidnapped by her biological mother, was found alive and safe in Mexico, according to reports.