Mobile family talks about stranger danger after daughter was almost kidnapped

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A mother’s worst nightmare almost realized. A Mobile family is talking about the importance of stranger danger after their daughter fought off a man who tried to pull her into a hotel room.

Mobile police say 27-year-old Jerrel King was arrested and is charged with kidnapping.

Parent of the nine-year-old girl, Maggie Barfield said, “This was at 4:30 in the afternoon. She had been at school all day. She came home from school and we decided to let her go play for 30 minutes before homework and it happened in the blink of an eye.”

Maggie and Jason Barfield were having a normal day with their daughter.

Jason said, “She just got into the elevator and was coming up to our floor, but she got off on the second, and when she got off on the second floor, there was a guy there waiting and he grabbed her.”

Jason said that’s when his daughter started fighting back. He said, “Kicking and clawing, and when she tried to scream, he tried to put his hand over her mouth and when he did that she tried to bite him, and that’s when he dropped her.”

The Barfields say their daughter fell on her shoulder and took off running. They say stranger danger has always been a major discussion in their household.

Maggie said, “You go from thinking about okay it’s time to call her home, homework, get something to eat, and a bath, to the police are there, and this man has tried to attack your child and snatch her in the room, and what he had to have on his mind and what his plans were and she had to fight.”

They hope this is a wake-up call for other parents in our community. Maggie said, “I see now how important it is to teach each and every child, and for every parent to remember that there is no safeness out in this world nowhere.”

The Barfields say while their daughter escaped, what happened is still leaving an impact on her. Jason said, “Some days she’s kind of stand-off-ish, but other times she just, she wants to go play and be a kid, you know, she tries to put it behind her.” Maggie added, “Something like that she’ll never forget, but I hope she can heal from it.”

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