A 25-year-old man is in custody and a 7-year-old girl’s family is shaken after the child narrowly escaped a kidnapping attempt at a Walmart in Atlanta, Georgia.
Second grader Brittney Baxter was home sick from school due to a bout of strep throat, and accompanied her mother to Walmart to pick up some groceries. While Baxter’s mother shopped just a few aisles away from the child, police say that suspect Thomas Woods approached the girl and grabbed her.
While little Brittney must have been terrified by the snatching attempt, store surveillance video shows the man carrying the struggling child through a toy section of the Atlanta Walmart. But she fought back, kicking and screaming, and eventually the man released her, allowing the child to escape back to her mother. As Brittney resisted the attack, her assailant attempted to stop her calling for help. (Watch the clip of Brittney Baxter fighting her kidnapper, below.)
Just a few hours after the terrifying incident, Baxter told reporters:
“I was screaming and kicking and trying to get away and he put his hand over my mouth… He just dropped me and went and ran off.”
Although Brittney’s mom Georgeann is still very upset over the incident, her daughter has advice for other kids who may find themselves in the same scary situation. She says to “always scream, try to scream and kick as hard as you can and go get someone you can trust.”
Brittney’s alleged captor was arrested and charged with attempted kidnapping, but denies being present at the store when the incident occurred. In the past, he served four years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.