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10-year-old girl describes escaping attempted kidnapping in Roy

ROY, Utah — Journey Brown said she felt something was not right after she noticed a man starring at her while at a gas station Friday night.

The 10-year-old rode her bike to the Texaco near 4395 South and 1900 West to purchase snacks.

“I just got a strange feeling, so I tried to stay behind him,” Brown said.

She said the man made a purchase and left. She then purchased her treats and got on her bike to leave when she noticed him on the sidewalk ahead of her.

“He stopped, so I thought he wanted me to go by him and then when I went by him, he just grabbed me,” she said.

Brown said her instinct was to scream for help and fight back.

“I hit my head on his elbow and he let go and I just started riding away,” she said. “I knew if he got me off my bike, that was probably the end.”

She rushed home and immediately told her mother what happened.

“She came flying in the door and even the aggressive way she opened the door we instantly knew something was not right,” said her mother, Lauren Brown. “We just heard her screaming and it was a different scream than we’ve ever heard. I knew she wasn’t hurt, but I knew something else was wrong.”

She called police who used Journey Brown’s detailed description of the man, along with surveillance footage from the gas station, to track down Richard Rodney Palmer, 44 — a registered sex offender convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor in 2007.

Police said when questioned, Palmer admitted he planned to assault Brown.

“This man will pay for what he has done and he will not ever hurt another child,” Lauren Brown said.

The family hopes by sharing their experience others will be encouraged to teach their children to fight back.

“We taught our kids to scream, to fight, to yell. I don’t care if they have a gun and they say they are going to shoot, you scream because as soon as you’re gone, you’re gone,” Brown said.

Authorities have filed formal charges of felony child kidnapping and felony attempted child rape against Palmer.

KSL 5 TV Live

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