Young girl fights off attacker

WOODLAWN, Md. - Marked police cars outnumbered the buses surrounding Woodlawn Middle School 24 hours after a man tried to abduct an 11-year old girl making her way to school from Gwynn Oak Landing Apartments just across the street.
Miaishia McKenzie is the young girl's mother.

"She was approached by a man who said, 'Good morning' to her and she said, 'Good morning,' and then he said she was very pretty.  So she said, 'Thank you,' and it made her feel uncomfortable so she she started to speed up.  He ran up behind her.  He said, 'You're really pretty.  We should go out.  You should go with me for a little while and I'll get you back to school."

McKenzie had three daughters and she says at that moment, her youngest remembered how to react to stranger danger.

"So she said, 'No.  My mother said don't go with strangers.'  So he grabs her and then she had to fight him.  Then she ran off to school."

Baltimore County Police have stepped up patrols in the area, and they're asking anyone who sees anything suspicious to report it immediately.
"We encourage students to walk in pairs and to always make sure they pay attention to their surroundings.  If it is possible for an older relative or a family member to take the students to school that's always a good strategy," said Corp. Cathy Batton.

But that isn't always possible, and Miaishia McKenzie wants everyone to know the danger that exists until the man is caught.
"I leave out for work at 6:15am.  My daughters are old enough to get to school and travel alone to get to school, because I'm a single parent and I have to work.  So this morning I was scared to death.  I asked one of my girlfriends, even though we live across the street, to pick them up and to take them to school, because I am afraid.  I'm petrified... not only for my children, but for all children."

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