Authorities say a 6-year-old girl was taken and briefly kept hostage inside a Miami apartment complex last week, but she escaped by biting her attacker’s arm.
According to an arrest document obtained by NBC News on Tuesday, the child was stolen Thursday as she was in the complex’s courtyard with siblings when they observed a white SUV parked near the unit.
According to the affidavit, the 6-year-old remained outside as others walked inside, and that’s when she was grabbed.
“She claimed she was suddenly grabbed by the arm… and dragged toward the back of the stairs.” The victim began to resist and drew away from the defendant. According to the complaint, “the defendant then picked up the victim and began carrying her away.”
“The victim bit the defendant on the arm, which caused him to drop her.” “The defendant slapped the victim and fled towards the front of the apartment complex,” according to the affidavit. “The victim ran around the building to the front to inform her aunt of what had just happened.”
Leonardo Venegas, 32, of Miami, was eventually identified as the suspect, and he was detained on suspicion of abduction and child abuse inflicting no serious bodily harm, according to authorities.
According to the affidavit and Miami-Dade prison records, Venegas was detained on Saturday. Venegas remained in custody on Tuesday.
According to jail records, he was detained without bond on the abduction accusation and was also placed on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold.
A public defender named as his counsel in online records was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The mother of the kid could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Ah’lyric, the alleged victim, told NBC Miami, “I bit him.” She claimed to have learnt the self-defense technique from her mother.
Teshia McGill, her mother, told NBC Miami, “I’m glad she knew how to fight back.”
Security cameras caught a white Range Rover parked near the apartment complex soon before the youngster was abducted, according to the complaint. Venegas may be seen strolling toward the back of the facility. He is then seen on video racing toward the parking lot. After then, the Range Rover is spotted exiting the apartment complex.
According to the complaint, the youngster recognized her attacker from photos obtained on film.
The Range Rover was identified by police using security cameras that caught the registration plate.
The Range Rover was discovered by police on Saturday, and Venegas volunteered to talk to investigators in a taped interview, according to the affidavit.
According to the report, he informed detectives that he was the driver of the Range Rover in question and that he also went near the area of the abduction, but that he was there “looking for houses to buy.”
However, the affidavit stated that the complex is subsidized by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and that there are no for sale signs.
Venegas also identified himself as the individual seen wandering in the apartment complex in the security footage, and he stated he hurried away when he heard someone screaming, according to the affidavit.
When detectives questioned Venegas about his encounter with the 6-year-old child, he asserted his right to a counsel, according to the affidavit.