Hempstead, NY — Jarrod James, a man from New York who attempted to kidnap a 13-year old girl while she was walking home alone from school, has been arrested. The young girl, who managed to escape, has been praised for being brave enough to fight back.
Authorities said the girl had finished summer classes at Lawrence Road Middle School and left the campus when she noticed someone following her around 12:20 p.m.
James, who is just 24-years old, allegedly continued chasing her as she turned onto Adams Street then grabbed her from behind and put his hand over her mouth.
“It definitely was a violent struggle,” Nassau County police Detective Mike Bitsko told ABC 7. “This girl fought for her life, and in doing so, she probably saved her life.”
Police said the girl managed to get away, but he grabbed her again and tried to drag her between two parked cars. She fought back and took off to her house.
“What she did was very brave,” Bitsko said. “This individual, this 13-year-old girl, was very brave. She fought off this individual. She fought off her attacker, and in a situation like this, she did exactly what she had to do. And at this point in time, I’m happy she’s doing well. And I’m happy that we were able to apprehend this individual.”
James was described as 5’5″ tall with a thin build as seen on surveillance video. He was arrested within 24 hours from the time of the attack. Charges are pending against him.
Meanwhile, the school added some security after the incident and alerted the students.
“Students should be walking with other students home, be mindful of your surroundings, maybe take out the earbuds,” Dean of Academic Services Dr. Andrea Silverstein said.