ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH)— An emotional mother shared the details of a frightening moment involving her child.
She said her middle school daughter was followed home from school on Thursday and approached by a man in a car with a camera.
That student and her family spoke exclusively with WESH 2’s Kelsi Thorud about what they said was a situation that could have ended much differently.
“It’s just shocking because if I didn’t do (anything), if I didn’t run or anything, he probably would have gotten out of the car and probably grabbed me,” the young girl said.
The sixth-grade student, who does not wish to be identified by WESH 2 News, said she was walking home from Freedom Middle School Thursday afternoon when she noticed a man in a black car.
“He’s like, old looking, and he has a camera in his hand and he’s smiling at me and telling, with his finger, telling me to come here,” she said.
The girl said she immediately felt uncomfortable, so she started running.
“I run and he’s still following me, and when he’s still following me, I’m about over there, and I’m running and crying and screaming, ‘Help me,’ so someone could come and stuff,” the child said.
Part of it was caught on surveillance video from the apartment complex the girl lives in.
In the video, the child is seen running to the gate, and a black car is seen pulling in right behind her.
“I could sense my daughter was scared by the way she was running. I’ve never seen her run like that before,” the girl’s mother said.
The girl’s mother said she truly believes the man in the car wanted to take her daughter.
“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare to see something like that, and to know that there’s people out there watching children like that, to try to take them or do whatever they want to do with them,” she said.
The family said they’ve filed a police report and now they just want to warn parents in the area.
“Talk to your kids. Let them know stuff like this can happen. You may not think it can or will, but it does happen,” the child’s mother said.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office says it is investigating this incident.