The only weapon available to a six-year-old girl was her teeth, which she used to successfully elude capture. According to a press release issued by the Miami Police Department, the victim, whose name has been revealed to be Lyric by a local affiliate of CNN, was with her siblings and having fun in the courtyard of the apartment complex where she lives in Miami when a man attempted to kidnap her.
According to the detention report, while playing, the children observed a white SUV parked near the building. The six-year-old siblings entered the apartment, but she was sitting on the rear staircase. A short time later, the suspected kidnapper, who was later revealed as 32-year-old Leonardo Venegas, caught her by the arm and a struggle started out, according to Venegas’s arrest report.
The accused attempted to take her away by carrying her up. At that point, the six-year-old bit Venegas, which caused him to abandon her.
“I bit him,” the child said in an interview with WPLG.
Two days later, police examined the suspect using surveillance footage and arrested Venegas. On Saturday, he was taken into police custody and one count of kidnapping and one count of child abuse/no significant bodily harm were filed against him.
Lyric made a hasty dash for the front of the building so that she could inform her aunt or someone closer about the situation after Venegas had made his escape.
Tisha McGill, Lyric’s mother, expressed her happiness upon learning that her daughter was unharmed.
“You have to teach your kids to not speak to strangers and protect themselves even when you’re not around,” McGill expressed to WPLG.
The authorities have issued a warning, stating that there may be further victims, and have requested that those victims come forward with any information they may have.
Officer Kiara Delva, a spokesman for the Miami Police Department, told WPLG that they are hoping that anyone in the community who may have been a victim of being assaulted by this particular suspect will come forward and report it to the police so that they can continue their investigation.
“We’re hoping that anybody in the community that may have been a victim of being assaulted by this particular suspect comes forward and reports it to the police,” Delva said.
She further stated that “She fought for her safety, which ultimately saved her from a potentially very dangerous situation”.
According to the online jail records, Venegas is currently being held without bond at the Metro West Detention Center in Miami-Dade County. Additionally, an immigration hold has been placed on his case.