OLYMPIA, Wash. — Sisters Aireyana and Ember love nothing more than playing together outside. But on Sunday afternoon, the girls say playtime went from fun to frightening.
The girls were riding their bikes when 7-year-old Ember decided to chase a cat into a bushy area. Police say a man came out of bushes, grabbed her arm and tried to pull her away.
“I was really calm about it," said Aireyana. "She [Ember] was screaming and kicking him in the shin. She kicked him in the shin twice.”
Fighting and kicking and screaming, Ember says she broke free and ran home. But then, her 10-year-old sister said, the man grabbed her by the leg.
“I fell off my bike. I pulled away from him and got away,” said Aireyana.
Both girls ran home to tell their father, Robbie.
"They were saying ‘Daddy there’s a man in the bush! There’s a man in the bush!’ and I came barreling outside, but by the time I got here, he was already gone,” said Robbie.
Robbie said he called 911. Olympia K-9 units searched the area but didn’t find the man. While police investigate, Robbie said he’s not letting his girls out of his sight.
“It only takes 30 seconds for them to just disappear forever. If I’m not out there, or an adult, they won’t be outside, not even in the bush connected to our house; apparently that’s not even safe,” said Robbie.
He added that he taught them what to do.
“I told them to kick anywhere they have to and get away as fast as you can,” said Robbie.
And he hopes other parents will do the same.
“Kick them in the shins and run and tell your parents. And scream like ‘stranger danger’ or something,” said Ember and Aireyana.
Olympia Police say the suspect is described as a white man in his 20s, about 5-foot-10 with a muscular build and dark hair. He wore a red sleeveless T-shirt and blue jeans with black and white tennis shoes. He had a goatee and a tattoo on his upper left shoulder.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Olympia Police Department.