As a parent, I’m finding myself somewhat amazed as kids. The same ones who seem pathologically incapable of cleaning their rooms are also capable of doing all kinds of brave things.
The latest example comes from Florida. Yes, we know the adventures of Florida Man, but Florida Kid is a different sort. In all the best ways.
The boy told detectives he was dropped off by his school bus on Hypoluxo Boulevard and started to walk home when the suspect, Timothy Miller, 26, pulled up next to him in a white pickup truck and offered him a ride.
The boy told detectives Miller told him he gives kids rides all the time and “not to worry because he won’t do anything weird.”
The 12-year-old got into the man’s truck and told detectives that’s when Miller began to act differently.
The boy said he began to feel uncomfortable after the suspect asked him if he had any drugs, looking at him strangely, and driving erratically.
When the boy tried opening his passenger side door, he said Miller sped up the truck to keep the boy from jumping. Determined to get away, the boy said he jumped anyway, landing hard on the pavement and briefly losing consciousness.
Good samaritans on the scene began to assist the boy. Two men riding behind the vehicle saw that and decided to follow Miller. Eventually, they were able to pin Miller’s truck and keep him there until police could arrive.
Now, let me ask you this: Could you jump from a speeding truck onto the hard pavement? Answer honestly, could you?
I can’t say yes. I think I could, especially if it was someone else’s life on the line, but my own? Probably not. I suspect most people would rationalize it as they’ll look for another point to jump or our something like that, but regardless of their reasons, I suspect most couldn’t do it.
But this kid did.
While he made a mistake by getting in the truck, he did good by getting away when he realized something was wrong.
It’s another time when an unarmed kid has been able to get away from a would-be kidnapper by simply not giving up. Once upon a time, the advice some gave their kids was to just cooperate, that they wouldn’t get hurt that way. However, what we do see a lot of times is that by fighting back, the kid can become enough of a problem that the kidnapper doesn’t want to take the risk.
Which is probably why Miller didn’t come back for the boy. He’d already put up too much of a fight for Miller’s taste. Allegedly.
Please, everyone. Hold your kids, teach them about not getting into strange cars with strange people, but most importantly, teach them to fight if someone tries to take them. Don’t let them think docility is a good way to go through life. Raise warriors who will never submit and we’ll see more and more of these stories until we stop hearing about kidnappings save once in a blue moon.
Kids are tough. We’d all do well to remember that and raise them accordingly.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article had an error in its headline. It has been corrected.