13-Year-Old Fights Off Kidnapper & Shares Her Story to Keep Your Kids Safe

shadari gardnerIt's the kind of story that makes you terrified to let your child go anywhere alone, ever: A 13-year-old Indiana girl was nearly abducted this weekend when a strange man attempted to force her into his car as she walked home from the laundromat, but she miraculously managed to escape -- and now she's sharing her story to help keep other kids safe!

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Shadari Gardner wasn't alone as she walked home on Sunday night at around 7 p.m. -- she was with her brothers -- but apparently the boys had fallen behind because they were having a hard time carrying their laundry bags. So Shadari appeared to be alone when the man in a dark car pulled over. As she tells WIAT 42 News:

“He told me to get in because he wanted to help and I told him that I didn’t need help. He said, ‘Just get in!’ and I said, ‘No!’ and he got out of his car and he got me by the arm and it hurt a lot. He pulled me and I yanked back and it hurt my arm. I told him my brothers were on the way and he got back in his car and drove off.”

Yikes!! But thank God Shadari had the presence of mind to fight back -- and good thinking mentioning her brothers, too. She credits her mom for preparing her well in case something like this ever happened; indeed, the tips Lakysha Gardner gave her kids echo expert advice on how to avoid abductions.

“We all have this plan when we are outside and if strangers come up, we’re not allowed to talk to strangers,” Lakysha said.

“Notice everything. Look at everything around you. You never know when you can break free from this, and you should try to figure out everything. Just the littlest thing, even a smell, might help."

Exactly. And because Shadari was paying attention, she was able to give a "fairly detailed description" of the man and the car to the Fort Wayne Police Department, which currently has a detective following up on the case. She admits, however, that she was too flustered and upset to notice the man's license plate number.

“I was really scared at the moment. Usually my mom would tell me to get the license plate number and I couldn’t because I was crying so much and he drove off really fast,” Shadari said.

Awww, poor girl! So glad she's safe -- even if she does seem fairly shaken up in this video (which also features some other tips from police):

More from The Stir: Heroic 65-Year-Old Museum Worker Saves 2-Year-Old from Attempted Abduction

Here's hoping that Shadari's message does reach other kids, as intended. Because, as she says, "If you’re not safe and smart, you could be abducted."

 

Image via WIAT.com

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