Tamera Walker wasn't about to just sit there and cry when a "monster man" tried to abduct her a few blocks from her Lower Hutt home on Wednesday.
The 12-year-old knew exactly how much danger she was in, so she fought back - kicking her attacker in the leg and whacking him with her skateboard.
It was enough to give her the opening she needed to escape the man's clutches and run home to safety.
She told The Dominion Post she was feeling a lot better yesterday after her frightening ordeal on Wednesday night.
She was walking along Randwick Rd about 7pm, on her way to get an icecream from the Moera shops, when she noticed a man peering at her from a parked car.
"The window was wound down a little bit and he was just staring at me. He was quite scary-looking, so I started walking a bit faster.
"Then he jumped out of the car and grabbed my shoulders."
All she could think about at that moment was getting home to her parents. They had taught her about "stranger danger", and she remembered their advice to resist and make as much noise as possible to attract help. Using the skateboard was her own idea.
She suffered a small graze to her knee after her attacker threw her to the ground but was otherwise fine, she said.
"I'm still pretty shaken. But at the same time, I feel quite proud of myself.
"Next time I go for a walk to the shops, I'll be taking my sister or my brother with me," Tamera said.
Tamera's mother, Judy, said: "I'm just so proud of her. She could have just sat there and cried but to react the way she did in a situation like that was just amazing. I don't know what I would have done myself.
"She's pretty fit from all the sports she plays at school, and she's feisty too, so she was never going to back down." Mrs Walker, who has three other children aged 14 to 19, said she would be speaking to them all about how to stay safe on the streets and she urged other parents to do the same with their kids.
Detective Iain Burns, of Lower Hutt, said Tamera's attacker was thought to be a Maori aged in his 30s, with short dark hair and a beard.
He had a deep voice and was wearing dark sunglasses, black trackpants with white strips and a black hooded sweatshirt with long draw-strings. He walked with a noticeable limp.
The car involved in the incident was black and similar to a Nissan Primera. It had gold-rimmed wheels and a dent in the passenger door.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lower Hutt police on 04 560 2600 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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