‘Fight, Fight, Fight’: 2 Teenagers Escape Armed Kidnapper Thanks To Survival Skill Training
One girl, 14, said she ‘finally won’ after battling the man who was holding her and a friend captive.
A Louisiana father credited lessons in survival skills for keeping his daughter and another teenager alive after an attempted kidnapping.
In October 2020, the girls, ages 14 and 15, were returning from one of their usual walks to a Springfield Dollar General store in the early evening when a man forced the two friends into his SUV at gunpoint, Baton Rouge station WBRZ-TV reported.
“I told her if that ever happens, fight, fight, fight,” said Phillip Pigott, who is a veteran of the armed services and the younger girl’s father.
He also instructed the teenager to do whatever she could to make sure she escaped before an abductor’s moving vehicle reached the interstate.
So when the kidnapper sped away and drove several miles with the girls held captive, Pigott’s daughter fought with him and grabbed at the steering wheel multiple times, eventually causing the SUV to swerve out of control and crash.
Pigott said his daughter suffered a concussion in the accident, but she and the other kidnapping victim were able to flee the wrecked SUV, call 911 and alert Good Samaritans, who then restrained the alleged abductor until police could arrive.
"I did fight for the wheel for a while and jerked it, and finally won," the 14-year-old said in an interview with WBRZ-TV. “When we crashed, me and my friend walked out, running and yelling for help. And then these two guys tackled the kidnapper.”
The girls were treated at the hospital for minor injuries suffered in the crash and released.
Albert Lawrence Lavigne, Jr., 39, was also transported to the hospital and booked on kidnapping charges several days later. Online records show he is still in custody at the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Detention Center.
“This is an excellent outcome. I'm very happy, and very proud that she remembered to stay calm and that she and her friend got out of that situation as well as they did,” Pigott said.
Springfield resident Janet Waddell called the incident that occurred in the small town with a population of just over 4,000 people “scary.”
“I've been here for 35 years and nothing like this has ever happened here,” she said.