The child manages to narrowly escape a sinister-looking man who followed her home thanks to her quick thinking.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on March 26, 2021. It has since been updated.
A chilling video from Russia captured how a 9-year-old girl managed to narrowly escape a "sex predator" with her quick thinking. The CCTV video, which has been praised by self-defense experts and netizens online, shows a sinister-looking man seemingly following a schoolgirl in Stupino, which is just over 60 miles away from Moscow. The man hangs back and watches the child as she appears to wait to get buzzed into an apartment building before swiftly following her through the front door before it closes. Fortunately, the girl seems to have sensed the danger and quickly figures out a way to outsmart the stalker.
Chilling CCTV footage shows a “sex predator” following a schoolgirl home – only for the clever child to outsmart him.https://t.co/0YoAHvAWQf— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) March 26, 2021
The video shows her climbing a short staircase and turning toward where the elevators are before quickly turning the other way to hide in a doorway. The unsuspecting stalker then walks towards the elevators and pushes the button while clearly confused as to where the child disappeared. Meanwhile, the girl sneaks herself back down the stairs while the man's back is turned and calmly walks out the front door. After a few moments, the stranger realizes that the girl had given him the slip and walks out of the building himself.
That's a very smart kid,no sign of panic, she handled the situation very well,all she now need is some training in martial arts for personal defense, she's going to be alright— Austere citizen of the world (@Austerecitizen) January 22, 2020
Just as he exits the building, the smart child is seen walking back into the apartment with another man who, according to The Sun, was her father whom she'd met outside at the right moment. The chilling footage has been hailed by the YouTube channel Active Self Protection which said that it shows how children should be aware of their surroundings and trust their instincts. According to a video about the incident by the channel, the man in the video was later arrested by police officials. They also took the opportunity to share some tips about safety and what are the best things to do in such situations.
9-year-old girl tricks suspicious stalker in #Russia— RT (@RT_com) January 22, 2020
The child spotted she was being followed by suspicious man on her way home from school. Upon entering the building and realizing the man had followed her inside, girl hid by the mailboxes instead of going to the elevators. pic.twitter.com/puJ9RevIS6
"First things first, parents teach their children that they are capable of defending themselves," the host says in the video. "I think a lot of times that we don't want to scare our children and I think that's really wise and it has to be age-appropriate, of course. But your children do have a creep alarm that something's off and something's not right and mom and dad, you should definitely teach your children that it's okay to pay attention and to their creep alarm. In fact, they should. If something feels wrong, it probably is wrong and they should probably do something about it."
The video of the girl being followed was avidly discussed on Reddit as well where Reddit users praised the child for being aware of her surroundings. "This is incredibly disturbing. What amazing awareness by such a young girl. On my Uni campus, all of the street lamps have buttons you can press as you walk by them. That triggers campus police to drive by, getting updated with each press of the button so the suspicious person doesn't have to stop walking. The police will then give them a ride, or so I assume. Not sure how they handle questioning the person deemed suspicious, if at all," commented u/que_xopa.
"I shall say it again: Teach your kids to CHOOSE their assistant in such circumstances. Don't wait for someone to approach them to 'offer them help.' Teach them to choose, from the crowd, the person they want to have helped them. If a child is lost, alone, being followed, etc. then they CANNOT trust a random person who approaches them. There is a much greater chance that said person has malicious intent or is actually an accomplice," wrote u/ledow. "If, however, your child then goes and *chooses* a random stranger, they stand a far better chance of getting someone without such malicious intent. Teach your kids: They can say no to anyone who approaches them. They can literally say 'Sorry, I don't trust you.' It's fine. Anyone who is genuine will understand 100 percent."