A family is thankful their 6-year-old girl is safe after she was grabbed by a stranger at a park in Henderson. Her father was just a few feet away. Police said the girl did all the right things to escape her would-be captor.
Henderson police on Tuesday afternoon arrested suspect James H. Allen, 30, of Boulder City, in connection with the attempted abduction. He is being held at Henderson Detention Center without bail.
The victim's father had no idea a typical day at Mountain View Park would turn terrifying. His daughter was almost snatched away in a restroom.
"This gentleman came up and put his hands over her mouth. He tried to exit with her out the back door when she kicked him. She then started screaming," said the victim's father, who asked to remain anonymous to protect his family.
The father said the suspect first tried to lure the girl by rolling a tennis ball to her but she kicked it. The father was coaching baseball just 15 feet away.
"It was quite strange because there was a lot of people and the bathroom was right next to the field, so it wasn't like she was far away," the victim's father said.
Detective Thomas Rainey with the Clark County School District Police Department said he's not surprised by the attempted abduction. He said it can happen anywhere.
"It doesn't matter where you are at," Rainey said. "Make sure the children are next to you and you know where they are at."
CCSD police officers visit school children, beginning with kindergartners. They teach them not to talk to strangers or get in their cars.
"One (way to escape a stranger) is to scream 'fire,'" said Rainey. "The other one is to say, 'Help, this man is trying to take me.' Anything you can to get someone's attention."
The victim's father is proud of his child. He hopes all kids learn these lessons.
"You never think something like that would happen, but it did," said the victim's father. "In my opinion, he messed with the wrong girl."
Anyone who would like information about the Clark County School District Police Department's "Stranger Danger" presentation can call 702-799-7830, ext. 5270.
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