STANWOOD, Wash. -- A ten year old girl playing outside a home in Stanwood says someone grabbed her and tried to pull her into the bushes. But she fought back, punching the man and getting away.
The girl’s family say they’re proud of her, and glad that she was listening when they warned her about strangers. But they’re worried that this could happen to someone else.
“She’s scared but we can say she's ok,” says Rigoberto, the father of the girl.
He’s also scared, which is why he asked us not to use his last name. He was running errands last night, and had left his two daughters with family members in Stanwood.
The girl’s uncle says she started playing on a swing, while he stood in another part of the yard. All of a sudden, she yelled.
“She started running towards me and said uncle, someone tried to take me,” says Jesus.
The girl says a man grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her into the nearby bushes. She’s taken some karate lessons, so she knew to hit the man to try and get away.
“She’s very tough, she's a tough little girl,” her dad says. “I’m very proud that she fought him.”
She described the man as white, bald, and wearing a green t-shirt. Her uncle searched the area looking for someone fitting that description.
“I ran to where she was pointing, looking for the person. Then I took my car and started driving around, but couldn't find him.”
The sheriff’s office used k-9 teams and helicopters, but they couldn’t find the man either. They say they’re increasing patrols in the neighborhood and warning parents to keep a close on eye on their children.
The girl’s family says that’s the same message they want to share with their neighbors.
“Everything happened so fast,” says Jesus. “It’s something you wouldn't ever expect, especially in the area where it happened.”