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11-Year-Old San Leandro Girl Escapes Kidnapper Thanks To Self-Defense Class

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SAN LEANDRO (CBS) — An 11-year-old San Leandro girl who fought off a kidnapper owes her safety to the skills she learned in a self-defense class.

Authorities say the moves she learned helped her get away from her attacker, 54-year-old Martin Gonzalez.

He grabbed her by the wrist as she was walking alone along Kent Avenue Monday afternoon. He tried to pull her in his car, while he had his pants down around his ankles.

The girl told police it all happened so fast. She told Deputy Priscilla Silva of the Alameda County Sheriff’s, “I didn’t even think about it, I just did it.”

Deputies arrested Gonzalez a short time later.

Deputy Silva was the girl’s self-defense teacher. She said the victim is one of her best students.

“I was really proud of this girl in particular because she’s very small in stature and because she’s the younger side of the females that I do teach,” said Silva. “She was always 110% in class.”

The girl had been taking the class weekly for a couple of months.

Pedro Naranjo Is the Executive Director of REACH Ashland Youth Center.

“She did everything right, she literally did everything right,” said Naranjo. “REACH is about building leaders and I’m hoping she’ll come back and she’ll be teaching that class alongside Deputy Silva.”

Martin Gonzalez is being held at the Santa Rita jail. He faces charges of attempted kidnapping, sexual battery and indecent exposure.

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