MIAMI (CBSMiami) – An 11-year-old girl, simply walking to school, had to defend herself from a man trying to force her into his pickup truck.
Police are looking for the man seen in surveillance video, behind the wheel of a black Chevy S-10, who struggled with the girl, forced her to fall to the ground and then took off in a hurry, leaving her with minor injuries.
It happened around 6:45 Tuesday morning on Northwest 103rd Street near 7th Avenue.
Before the attempted abduction, the driver of the truck was waiting to turn right at the light, when large aluminum junk falls out of the bed of his truck, blocking the street.
He then turned onto Northwest 103rd Street, blocking at least one lane of traffic, when the girl approaches.
She told police he asked her to help him fix his truck and then tried to pull her inside the truck, all while multiple drivers went about their commutes nearby.
“Obviously, he lured this little girl towards the vehicle and then attempts to grab her,” said Miami-Dade police spokesperson Jennifer Capote.
After the attempted abduction, the girl walks slowly to the sidewalk and calls someone to pick her up.
Police collected the junk from the truck, and dusted it for fingerprints, but so far have made no arrests.
“It’s just sickening. We’re living in a world where not even children are respected,” said Stephanie Morales, who drops her two children and picks them up at a nearby elementary school, every day.
“As a mother, I don’t find it safe at all, even at that age, 11, it’s still too young to walk alone,” she told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.
Her husband Agustin Morales said they also speak openly with their children.
“My kids know not to get in the car. Every day we tell them not to get in a stranger’s car,” he said.
Now that they’ve learned this potential predator’s M.O. of asking for help, they plan to address that with their kids.
“They’re children, that’s what they tend to do, help, or that’s just their sense and it’s very unfortunate an adult would grab to that,” said Stephanie Morales.
Stephanie Morales hopes police catch the man, before another child becomes his victim.
“He didn’t get away with this one, but I’m sure it’ll happen again and he’ll get away next time. Something has to be done,” she said.
Capote shared Stephanie Morales’ concern.
“They will definitely try and do it again. They may hide out for a little bit because they know the police are looking for them. But they are going to strike again,” she said.
All police have to go on is that the black male driver was behind the wheel of a black Chevy S-10 pickup truck.
If you have seen it, or have any information that can help, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.