After kidnapping of 7-year-old, self-defense expert offers parents tips

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 6, 2013 at 10:12 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 6 at 10:21 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

METAIRIE, La. -- A day after a 7-year-old Metairie girl was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and escaped, her family and neighbors remain shocked.

Eyewitness News spoke to one self-defense expert about what parents can do to prepare their kids for the worst-case-scenario.

"No kids come outside and they don't want to come outside to play anymore. Scared someone else will come back," said a 15-year-old neighbor who is one of many youngsters in one Metairie neighborhood now terrified after the brazen abduction of a young girl from an apartment complex swimming pool on Thursday afternoon.

"I know she lives across from our apartment and she's always outside and watch her go swimming and stuff," said the 15-year-old.

A surveillance camera captured 29-year-old Steven Carter walking into Yorkshire Edenborn Apartments. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says Carter kidnapped a 7-year-old and carried the screaming girl to his car.

The sheriff's office says the girl, who was sexually assaulted, managed to escape two miles from home turning to strangers for help. Carter was later tracked down and arrested.

"If they're snatched, bite, kick, scratch. You don't have to be in martial arts as long as you're loud and drawing attention," said Master Jason Horne, who runs X-S Martial Arts Dojo in New Orleans East.

Horne teaches young kids how to fight and be loud if they ever have a run-in with a child predator.

"'My pet is lost. I can't find my wallet. I dropped my keys. I have a small crack in the car window. My hand is too big, can you reach in to help me?' These are the types of things you want to teach kids not to fall into," said Horne.

The self-defense expert warns kids not to approach strangers who start up conversations, but instead immediately alert a trusted adult.

"That's one the main things we try to teach kids we don't approach cars, we don't give directions. Its for adults to do," said Horne who stresses remember to yell stranger danger and if you're taken away -- never give up.

"Once you're abducted, think the worst, so you never stop trying to escape or fight. Once you're gone, then you'll be gone," warned Horne.

While one young girl is fortunate to be back home, her life and the sense of safety in one Jefferson Parish community is changed forever.

"I feel scared, feel like I can't be no where without a grown-up," said the 15-year-old neighbor.

For more helpful law enforcement tips on how to prevent child abduction, click here.

 

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