Photo Credit: MSNBC
Two separate surveillance videos show the girl and her 2-year-old brother walking down south Philadelphia street earlier this week -- in the middle of the day. From one camera angle, you can see the siblings walking by as a man gets out of his white car and begins to follow the pair. Footage from the other camera shows the man trying to grab the girl -- picking her up, then dropping her, then running away. (Watch the video below.)
The girl's parents said that the girl bit her attacker -- a move she learned from watching Law & Order: SVU, according to TODAY. NBC10 in Philly added that the screams of the girl's baby brother may have helped deter the man, too. "By [the victim's] account, she says the child literally screams louder than anything she's ever heard before; he literally interrupts this assault," Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby told the station.
"I want this creep off the streets off our streets immediately," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, said at a press conference following the incident.
Besides watching Mariska Hargitay in action, there are other safety steps parents can take to help ward off predators. Here are five things to make sure your child is aware of today:
Know the basics: It sounds simple, but children should be taught their phone numbers, how to spell their last names, their address and other standard info as early as possible.
Buddy up: There's a reason the buddy system was invented. Kids should stay together -- whether they're just walking over to the playground, heading to the restroom or returning books to the library.
Just say no: Being polite is great, but kids should know it's okay to say no to someone -- even if it's a seemingly nice adult. Teach them to always get permission before accepting anything from a stranger.
ID good grown-ups: Teach your children who to turn for if you're not around and they feel uncomfortable or in danger -- look for a mom with children, a police officer or security guard, a teacher or a store employee.
News you can use: Take advantage of media attention to events like this to offer teachable moments to your kids. Bad things do happen, but being prepared and aware certainly can't hurt.
Here are 15 more ways to help keep your kids safe from predators.