Young girl's teaching from parents helped catch her attacker, police say


People in one Tuscaloosa neighborhood were on high alert after a man groped a young girl walking home from a playground Tuesday afternoon.

The suspect was arrested, but Tuscaloosa Police Lieutenant Teena Richardson said parents should still take notice.

"Unfortunately, we've had these types of crimes happening pretty regularly," Richardson said.

"React" and "run away" was the advice Richardson wants young children to follow. A large number of kids are expected to be playing outside over the summer, when adults need to be extra aware of stranger-danger.

"Parents need to explain that just because this person is older, doesn't mean that this person is going to be safe, and they have your best interest at heart."

Richardson said parents should train children in advance to be aware of their surroundings and know when to ask for help.

It's what a young girl at Broadmoore Gardens apartments did when she was attacked and assaulted by a man offering her cash.

"Here parents trained and told her the correct thing to do when she's approached by someone, or someone does something that's inappropriate," Richardson said.

She alerted the maintenance man, who chased the suspect and called police. People living at the complex called him a hero.

"I can't imagine feeling more grateful. That's your child. That's your entire life," Kilian Afzalirad said, "Thanks for doing such a great job. That's awesome you did that."

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