A man has been accused of attempting to abduct a 6-year-old girl from an apartment complex in Little Haiti. However, the girl bravely fought back and thwarted his plans, leading to his arrest.
The suspect, Leonardo Venegas, 32, was taken into custody on Saturday and charged with kidnapping and child abuse. He resides in North Miami and is currently being held without bond.
The incident took place on Thursday night in the 6500 block of Northeast 2nd Avenue, according to the Miami police.
As per the police report, the 6-year-old girl was playing outside in the apartment complex courtyard along with other children. They noticed a white SUV parking nearby, prompting some of the kids to quickly go inside their homes. However, the girl decided to remain seated on the staircase.
The man allegedly noticed the girl and forcefully grabbed her by the arm. Despite her struggles and attempts to break free, he lifted her up and began carrying her away.
In a brave act of self-defense, the girl bit the man’s arm, causing him to drop her. The suspect responded by slapping the child and then hurried back towards his car.
Meanwhile, the girl ran to her aunt and recounted the frightening incident.
Video footage from the apartment complex revealed a white Range Rover Velar pulling into the area, with a man exiting the SUV. According to the police, the man had his left hand inside his shorts, although it remains unclear whether he was reaching for a weapon.
The surveillance footage also captured the suspect hastily returning to his vehicle and fleeing the scene following the struggle.
Law enforcement authorities were able to track the Range Rover as it left the vicinity. A license plate number was recorded by a tag reader along Biscayne Boulevard, ultimately leading to the identification and arrest of Venegas.
The Miami Police Robbery Unit is urging any other potential victims to step forward and contact them at 305-603-6370.