A mother and her 13-year-old daughter were shopping at a Citrus County, Florida, Dollar General when a 30-year-old man attempted to abduct the teenager.
In a harrowing video posted to Facebook, alleged kidnapper Craig Bonello can be seen setting his sights on the young girl before making his move.Image Credit: Screenshot/Facebook
Seconds later, Bonella drags the teenager through the store towards the exit. Thankfully, the young teen’s mom fought back, holding onto her daughter for dear life until Bonello gave up and ran away. He was eventually stopped by an off-duty police officer, and later charged with kidnapping and child abuse.
Neither the teen nor her mother sustained any major injuries as a result of the attack.
Although mom’s quick thinking helped her daughter escape potential harm, what if she hadn’t been around and her teen was shopping alone?
The “what ifs” are frightening, according to a chart created by the Department of Justice, which lays out which ages are most likely on a kidnapper’s radar.Image Credit: Department of Justice via Project.org
The incidents of kidnappings among girl and boys is roughly the same until they reach the age of ten, when the gap starts widening.
By the time a girl turns 13, her chances of being kidnapped are rising dramatically. The opposite is true for males of the same age.
According to the FBI, each year approximately 200,000 children are abducted by family members, while an additional 58,000 children (roughly 22%) are taken by nonrelatives with primarily sexual motives.
Parents.com reports that 74 percent of victims of “nonfamily” child abductions are girls.
WATCH:The contents of this video may be disturbing. Sheriff’s Office officials have released a portion of the surveillance video from inside the Dollar General in Hernando where an attempted abduction occurred today before noon. Craig Bonello, 30, of Hernando, was taken into custody and will be charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of child abuse. For that reason, the 13-year-old victim’s identity will not be released. Again, we are grateful for the courageous acts of both the child’s mother and off-duty Dep. Jonathan Behnen. Thankfully, the child was saved and no one suffered any injuries during the incident.
Posted by Citrus County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Therefore, it’s crucial girls between ages of 12 and 42 are aware of how to defend themselves, especially if they are alone.
Serge Sognonvi, the owner of Urban Martial Arts based in Brooklyn, New York, tells Teen Vogue that there are four very important things teens and women should be aware of at all times:
- Know your surroundings: Having earphones in your ears and looking down at your phone will make you look like an easy target. Keep your eyes and ears open at all times, but make sure your phone is easily accessible.
- Call 911 before telling anyone else you are in danger: If you think you are in danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 first. They can help you much faster than anyone else can.
- Know how to fight your attacker: If your arms are pinned, use your feet and legs to stomp on the attackers feet, kick them in the shins, the knees, and more effectively the groin, if possible. If your hands are free, go for the attacker’s throat and eyes as hard as you can.
- You’re not trying to WIN the fight…You’re trying to GET AWAY: So use the tactics above to distract your attacker and run as fast as you can toward a more familiar and crowded area.
It is important to note that what happened to the teen and her mother at the Dollar General is pretty rare, as most kidnappings occur in poorly lit, remote outdoor areas. However, this video goes to show that if an attacker is bold enough, they can strike at any place, at any time.