Cops: Cleveland Girl, 11, Hero After Saving 6-Year-Old Brother From Attempted Abduction
She said, “I just grabbed my brother and went into the backyard because there was no time to panic. You just have to go with it.”
CLEVELAND, OH — Authorities are hailing an 11-year-old girl as a hero after she acted fast and rescued her brother from an alleged kidnapping attempt, according to the Cleveland Division of Police.
Talking to WJW-TV, Julianne Moore, age 11, said she and her brother Hayden Moore, age six, were playing outside their home in Cleveland’s Old Brooklyn area last Thursday when a man they didn’t know approached them.
Julianne said, "He started to talk to us, but we really couldn't figure out what he was saying. It was like gibberish so we really didn't think much of it."
Julianne told the reporter that the man first briefly walked away, then circled back, grabbed Hayden by the hand, and started to pull the boy away.
At that point, Julianne said, “When he tried to grab my brother, I knew, like, this was serious. This was not like any handshake or anything. I just grabbed my brother and went into the backyard because there was no time to panic. You just have to go with it.”
Joshua Moore, the children’s father, told WJW-TV, “My daughter came running back there with my son, dragging him by the arm and screaming. I said, 'Julianne, what's wrong?' She said a man tried to abduct Hayden.”
From there, Joshua said he ran out front and confronted the stranger, stating, “I said, 'Excuse me, did you touch my child?' And he just threw his arms out like this and continued walking. At that point, I came back. My daughter was crying and upset, and we called police.”
Representatives from the Cleveland Division of Police said responders located the man nearby and, based on Julianne’s detailed description, arrested him. Pedro Luyando, 33, was reportedly booked by officers and charged with abduction.
Looking back, Julianne said she’s still rattled by the incident, but grateful that she followed her parents’ directions to always keep an eye on her little brother and, when faced with an emergency, to try to stay calm so you can make a clear-headed decision.
“My heart dropped because I know that I saved my brother,” the brave 11-year-old said. “He would not be here right now.”