It was a pleasant April afternoon, and a family was enjoying their meal together, when suddenly the family fun was cut short—a man tried to attack their little girl right there in the restaurant.
The 11-year-old was with her family at Sonny’s BBQ Restaurant in Brunswick, Georgia, when she had the scare of her life. A man followed her into the women’s restroom and attempted to “take her,” according to the child.
Luckily, the girl got away and ran out of the restroom screaming.
The girl had gone to the lady’s room by herself when the man put his hand over mouth and throat, attempting to attack her. She fought back and ran out of the bathroom.
The entire restaurant immediately became alert, and staff acted quickly. Amber, an employee at Sonny’s, recalled the horrifying moment the girl screamed aloud.
“As a mom, when I heard that scream, a reality check came over me and probably along with my whole entire staff,” she said.
Staff at Sonny’s gathered the children in the restaurant, including the 11-year-old girl, to protect them. As another staff member called 911, Amber and others went to grab the man out of the men’s restroom where he had tried to hide. The girl’s father reportedly held the man down on a table and told him “he wasn’t going anywhere.”
The entire restaurant then waited for police to arrive.
“We immediately did like a lockdown,” Amber recalled. “I was not going to let him leave the store.”
When police arrived, the girl recounted what happened with her family by her side. The attacker had allegedly told her to “hush it!” when she started to scream, but she refused, broke free from his grasp, and ran out crying for help.
The man was identified as a 40-year-old registered sex offender. He was arrested and charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes, aggravated assault, and false imprisonment.
The incident left the entire community shocked and disturbed. The girl’s mother said, “I hate to even think about it, but there is no telling what he would have done to (my daughter) had she frozen in fear.”
Another Brunswick mother agreed, saying that making noise, fighting back, and running away is the best thing to do if anyone is ever in that situation. She said she’ll be more vigilant of her daughter in the future. When asked what she tells her daughter, she said:
“Be very careful. If anything ever happens like that to kick, scream, make a noise so you can be heard.”
Thanks to the quick response and team effort by the restaurant staff and diners, as well as the young girl’s bravery and courageous actions, she and countless other children are now safe and unharmed, with the dangerous man behind bars.