News Blog: Young girl uses lessons taught from parents, at school to escape kidnapper


Little Brittney Baxter was shopping for strawberries with her mom on Wednesday at a Walmart near Atlanta. They took a detour to look at the toys and then Baxter’s mom told her she would be right back and she left to go get the strawberries.

Once the mother left, Baxter was attacked by a man police believe to be Thomas Andrew Woods — who was arrested in connection with attempted kidnapping. According to the Huffington Post, police say video surveillance appeared to show Woods attempting to kidnap Baxter by picking her up. But instead of running away with her he had to do something unexpected — put her down. The man ran out of Walmart immediately after.

When Brittney was picked up, she started kicking and screaming. Baxter said she learned these lessons from her parents and at school.

“Stranger Danger” training prevented this kidnapping and could prevent further kidnappings if children have the proper training. Experts suggest starting from a young age and defining what a stranger is and guidelines. For example, parents need to be in control where and if children meet strangers. Family friends and doctors should be introduced to kids as good strangers. This stranger danger training should include outlining what is appropriate contact.

Stranger Danger training isn’t just for kids. College students need to be aware of potential threats to their safety. Just a few days ago, a 20-year-old female jogger was assaulted along the Provo River trail. And it wasn’t the first time it’s happened.

BYU students need to have street smarts even living in relatively-safe Provo. University Police Lt. Lemmon said joggers should stay in well-lit, busy routes. They should carry noisemakers and a phone.

University police officers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. To report a crime or emergency call University Police at 801-422-2222.

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