13-year-old girl escapes terrifying Florida abduction

POMPANO BEACH, FLA (WABC) -- A 13-year-old girl escaped from a stranger who was trying to abduct her, and the terrifying incident was caught on camera.

The attempted kidnapping happened in Pompano Beach, Florida, where police are still looking for the suspect.

Authorities say the suspect drove up to the girl last week in his tan SUV and asked if she was walking home. She reportedly ignored him, and police say the man then got out of the SUV and grabbed her by the waist to pull her inside the vehicle.

She pushed back, screaming, and then ran away. Police say this is the best way to protect yourself in that situation.

Experts say more than 80 percent of children who escape an attempted abduction do something proactive.

"What she did was exactly the right thing," expert Callahan Walsh said. "The kicking, screaming, yelling, anything that she can do to draw attention to that situation so she can get away. This girl saved her own life."

In 2013, an 8-year-old girl bit her would-be kidnapper and got away, with grainy surveillance video capturing her running to get her parents. And just last year, a Connecticut teen who accepted a ride from an abductor later jumped out of that moving car, landing on the asphalt.

"Children are taught to be polite to elders and that's not always the best course of action," Walsh said. "Parents need to teach kids that's it's OK to say no."

In addition, experts say that children need to:
--Check with their parents first before they get in anyone's car.
--Use the buddy system. Have them walk home with a friend.
--Always tell a trusted adult about any encounters.
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