MIDLOTHIAN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Midlothian Police are going door-to-door, asking homeowners for surveillance video after a middle schooler reported an attempted kidnapping Thursday.
According to police, the girl told investigators that the black truck passed her while she walked westbound on Newgate and then pulled over.
Moments later, she says a stranger in a dark, hooded sweatshirt grabbed her arm from behind.
“First, we were in shock because we never want any of our students to have this happen to them,” says Midlothian ISD Assistant Superintendent Karen Fitzgerald.
School officials are applauding the student for fighting back. She told officers she kicked backwards, striking the suspect in the groin before breaking free and running back to Walnut Grove Middle School.
“I think she did exactly what she needed to do,” says parent of two girls, Margie Helm.
Helm was also appreciative that the district immediately sent an email warning the entire school community.
“We wanted to give them a heads up that this had happened and also provide an opportunity for our parents to be having some breakfast table conversations about ‘who’s your buddy you’re walking to school with’, ‘who’s your buddy you’re walking home from school with’, ‘if something happened, where’s a place you can go to get help’,” says Fitzgerald.
In a community where garages can be left open and bicycles are left outside, Midlothian school district leaders are encouraging parents to not take safety for granted.
Helm says the district email reminded her to have a follow up conversation with her high school daughters.
“I just read the girls the email and said,’ y’all need to be careful’,” shared Helm. “And we talked about what they would do in situation like that.”
Police have also noted that the tornado that touched down in the area Sunday night has brought more strangers into the community, looking for work.
They say the safety reminder is well-timed.
“I’ve had those conversations with my girls before,” says Helm. “They do know how to defend themselves.” And then she adds with a laugh, “They’re both black belts, so…”