Teaching kids to fight away predators

Steps kids can take to get away from potential predators

By Jennifer Waugh - The Morning Show anchor, I-Team reporter
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The tragic death of 10-year-old Hailey Owens is a sad reminder to parents that you cannot always be there to protect you children.

Earlier this week, neighbors in Springfield, Missouri said they saw the girl get pulled into a truck, but they were not able to reach her in time.

We want to help you teach your children what do if a predator ever tries to grab them.

A local police officer teaches kids self-defense moves, showing them how to get away.

Here are three simple to learn techniques beginning with your voice.

Corporal James Giammarinaro was not wearing his St. Augustine police uniform during the class. He's pulling from his experiences as a 23-year veteran to show children how to stay safe.

"What I want you to do is say ‘eyes, eyes...attack the eyes' and come back in a good stance," Giammarinaro told the kids.

Jabbing a predator in the eyes is one of four moves he taught the St. Johns County kids about getting away.

"When I say so, I want you to strike with the palm, heal of your hand and I want you to say nose, nose," Giammarinaro told the kids.

The second move targets an attacker's nose.

The third technique shows kids how to use their fist-to escape.

"When I say go, I want you to strike that neck and say, ‘neck, neck...'," Giammarinaro told the kids.

Giammarinaro teaches these moves to karate students at a St. Augustine gym.
He said it's about showing them how to use the strongest parts of their body against the weakest part of a kidnapper's body.

He calls the 4th move, the ear smash.

"What it does disorients you, messes up your equilibrium in your body… it's important. Cup our hands a little bit... smack nice and strong," Giammarinaro told the kids.

You can reach Corporal Giammarinaro to organize a class at (904)615-4664.

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