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6-year-old Florida girl fights off abductor and escapes by biting his arm, authorities say

Leonardo Venegas, 32, of Miami, was arrested on charges of kidnapping and child abuse causing no great bodily harm, court records show.
/ Source: NBC News

A 6-year-old girl was briefly abducted last week at a Miami apartment complex, but managed to get away by biting her attacker’s arm, authorities said.

The alleged kidnapping occurred Thursday as the girl was in the complex’s courtyard with siblings, when they noticed a white SUV parked near the apartment, according to an arrest affidavit obtained Tuesday by NBC News.

The 6-year-old stayed outside while others went inside, and that’s when she was grabbed, the affidavit said.

“She stated that she was suddenly grabbed by the arm … and pulled toward the rear of the stairs. The victim began to fight back and pulled away from the defendant. The defendant then picked up the victim and began to carry her away,” according to the affidavit.

“The victim bit the defendant on the arm causing him to drop her. The defendant slapped the victim and ran away towards the front of the apartment complex,” the affidavit said. “The victim ran around the building towards the front to tell her aunt what had just occurred.”

Leonardo Venegas, 32, of Miami was later identified as the suspect and police said he was arrested on charges of kidnapping and child abuse causing no great bodily harm.

Venegas was arrested Saturday, according to the affidavit and records from Miami-Dade jail. Venegas was still in jail Tuesday.

He was held on no bond on the kidnapping charge, and was also placed on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold, jail records showed.

A public defender listed as his attorney in online records was not immediately reached Tuesday afternoon for comment.

The mother of the child was not reached Tuesday for comment.

NBC South Florida spoke to the alleged child victim, Ah’lyric, who told the outlet: “I bit him.” The girl said she learned the self-defense tactic from her mother.

The girl’s mom, Teshia McGill, told NBC South Florida: “I’m glad she knew how to fight back.”

According to the affidavit, surveillance cameras captured a white Range Rover parked near the apartment complex shortly before the child was grabbed. Venegas is seen on camera walking toward the rear of the complex. Shortly after, Venegas is seen on camera running toward the parking lot. The Range Rover is then seen leaving the apartment complex.

The girl identified her attacker through images captured on surveillance, the affidavit said.

Police were able to identify the Range Rover through surveillance cameras that captured the license plate.

On Saturday, police found the Range Rover and Venegas agreed to speak to investigators in a taped interview, the affidavit said.

He told investigators he is the driver of the Range Rover in question and he also placed himself near the scene of the abduction, but said he was there “looking for houses to buy.”

The affidavit stated, however, that the complex is HUD housing and there are no for sale signs. Venegas also identified himself as the man seen walking in the surveillance footage in the apartment complex and said he ran away when he heard someone screaming, the affidavit said.

Venegas invoked his right to an attorney, the affidavit said, when investigators asked him about his interaction with the 6-year-old girl.

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