It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, a “Law & Order SVU” or “Criminal Minds” episode come to life—someone coming to abduct your child. But last week in Miami, a tragedy was averted when a man tried to kidnap six-year-old Ah’Lyric Fornairs, and she fought back and bit him, thwarting his attempt. Her quick thinking and actions may have just ended up saving her life.
This all occurred on a day when Fornairs was playing “duck, duck, goose” with her siblings in the courtyard of their Miami apartment building complex. When a man in a white car stopped nearby, “they didn’t think much of it” and finished up their game. But when Fornairs’ siblings went inside to grab a drink after, while she sat outside on the stairs, a man came up upon her, grabbed her by the arms, and pulled her off the stairs.
Fornairs said she screamed and struggled, and fortunately remembered what her mom had told her to do in such a situation. “She said any time somebody tries to get me, just bite him.” Fornairs did just that and “bit down hard on the man’s arm. He dropped her…and ran back to the car, quickly driving away.”
This is an impressive feat, especially considering Fornairs fought off somebody who was more than twice her size. On top of that, she was observant enough to recall what he looked like. Her description of the suspect enabled police to end up arresting Leonardo Venegas two days later.
Jail records show that Venegas is being held without “bond on the kidnapping charge and was also placed on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.”
Miami Police Department Officer Kiara Delva commended Fornairs’ bravery and smarts, saying “We’re thankful that she did enough to save her life.” Miami Police Department spokesman Michael Vega added “Teach your kids to do this,” continuing with “She’s our hero.”
Fornairs’ mother Teshia McGill said she’s always told all of her children what actions to take in the event they’re approached by a stranger, stating “Every other day, you see Amber Alert, Amber Alert, Amber Alert…So, I try to teach my kids to defend themselves even when I’m not around.”
She told Washington Post that “she was relieved her daughter had remembered the lessons she had taught each of her children: Don’t talk to strangers. When you’re in danger, scream. Fight back. Do whatever you can.”