Boy uses 'stranger danger' to stay safe

10-year-old says he screamed, ran from man trying to get his attention

Published On: Dec 06 2012 03:38:10 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 06 2012 08:51:15 PM EST
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Ten-year-old Anjuan Caul is safe at home now, but he didn't feel so comfortable when a man tried to confront him in a parking lot Wednesday night.

Anjuan said he sensed danger in the parking lot of the emergency room at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center, where he said a man he didn't know sitting in a pickup truck tried to get his attention about 6:30 p.m.

"He was like, '(Whistles) Hey you, come here,'" Anjuan said.

Terrified, Anjuan immediately ran away screaming and alerted his grandmother.

"I was running and I almost had ran out of my shoes because I was running so fast, and I was scared because I thought he was chasing me," the boy said.

Less than 24 hours late, Anjuan's grandmother, Deborah Caul, is keeping him close, still replaying in her mind his calls for help.

"Felt like my insides had dropped, because I thought the man had done grabbed him," Caul said. "He was just screaming so loud, it was so scary. I'm telling you, it was so scary."

Based on Anjuan's story, police wrote up a report. The man told police it was a misunderstanding.

"As always, our goal is to provide a safe and secure environment for patients, their families and everyone on our campus," Shands said in a statement. "Once our security personnel were alerted to the situation they immediately offered assistance to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office as it conducted its investigation."

Channel 4 crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson said Anjuan did the right thing. He suggests all parents teach their children about stranger danger.

"Always tell them, 'Never ever get into a stranger's vehicle, even if there's a weapon involved. Run the other way, scream,'" Jefferson said. "You want to bring attention to yourself, and you don't want to say, 'Help,' you want to use the word, 'Fire.' If you run yelling fire, people will look. If you run saying, 'Help,' they are accustomed to hearing that."

It's a lesson Anjuan says he learned at school, and something his grandmother is thankful he remembered.

"I was telling him, if he would've put you in that car, if he would've grabbed you and put you in that car, I would've never seen you probably no more," Caul said.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, the investigation is still ongoing.