Veteran Greenwood police officer reacts to Florida attempted child abduction video

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GREENWOOD, Ind, - The video has grabbed the attention of people across the nation.

A man’s attempted abduction of a child caught on camera at a Florida Dollar General Store in the middle of the day. After struggling with the mother of the teen girl, the man gives up and takes off.

He was arrested just outside the store by an off-duty officer in the right place at the right time.

It is video of a scene even a veteran police officer is disturbed by.

“He is dragging her child through the store?”

Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth is seeing this video for the first time.

“I’ve never seen anything quite like that in my 20 some odd years of being a police officer,” said Fillenwarth.

A mother caught in a tug of war with a man, identified by police in central Florida as 30-year-old Craig Bonello.

Chief Fillenwarth says it appears the mom and daughter did everything they could to resist Bonello.

They made a lot of noise which alerted others to help. The mom literally threw herself on top of her daughter and they fought back.

“The child looked like they struggled. The mother definitely struggled and probably saved that child’s life,” said Fillenwarth.

Bonello was charged with kidnapping and child abuse.

Details as to why Bonello attempted to kidnap the teen are not known at this time.

Police in Florida say the mother and daughter were not injured.

Incidents like this are very rare, but they can happen, but Chief Fillenwarth says this video should serve as a reminder to think about safety and your surroundings

“When stuff like that happens, even in law enforcement your inner defense mechanisms kick in your brain,” Fillenwarth explained.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children offers important information, tips and activities for children and parents.

Many abduction attempts:

  • Occur between 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Involve girls and children between the ages of 10 -14.

The top five methods used during abduction attempts are:

  1. Offering a ride.
  2. Offering candy or sweets.
  3. Asking questions.
  4. Offering money.
  5. Offering, looking for or showing an animal.

Teach children the 4 Rules of Safety

  1. Check first
  2. Take a friend
  3. Tell people “No”
  4. Tell a trusted adult

Take Action

  • Know the routes your children take, especially to and from school. Practice walking the routes with them so you can point out places they should avoid or where they can go for help.
  • Talk to your child’s school or day care facility about its pickup policy. Be clear that no one should pick up your child without your permission. Ask to be contacted immediately if someone else tries to pick up your child.
  • Use role-playing scenarios to help children learn how to recognize and respond to risky situations. For example, have children practice yelling, kicking, pulling away or otherwise attracting attention when grabbed or approached by someone they do not know.
  • Teach your child about the methods would-be abductors use. Have your child practice responding to the tricks by saying “no,” walking away and telling a trusted adult immediately.
  • Prepare children to act when you are not with them. They should know their full names, home addresses and telephone numbers, and how to dial 911.

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