CLEVELAND – “I was just scared, like I ain’t gonna see my family no more,” said Diamond Lightfoot as she broke down in tears in her mother’s arms, one day after a man grabbed her and tried to drag her into an abandoned building on Cleveland’s east side.
Diamond, 12, wants to tell her story so it may help keep other young girls safe.
She says she was walking on E. 77th Place Tuesday evening heading to a friend’s home one block away when she saw a disheveled man.
“I started walking and I see the man coming from behind and I looked at him and he started running, then he got my arm and he started saying ‘come here,’” Diamond said.
The man dragged Diamond nearly ten feet in the direction of an abandoned building.
“I started screaming them he pushed me a little and let me go and started running,” Diamond said.
She ran home and told her mother.
“She got away and to be able and come and tell me that. I couldn’t even sleep last night because I kept thinking what if she didn’t get away,” her mother, Nancy Lightfoot, said.
This was the second stranger attack on a girl on Tuesday on Cleveland’s east side, police said.
Tuesday morning, a 15-year-old girl screamed and got away from her attacker on E. 81st St. and Hough Ave. after he put a gun to her head and grabbed her, according to police.
However, police believe the attackers are different people.
“We have increased patrols both before and after school, marked and unmarked cars, and we have officers dedicated to finding these individuals and to taking them off the street,” Cleveland Police Dept. Det. Jennifer Ciaccia said.
Police also have the same advice as Diamond and her mother.
“Be careful, be aware of your surroundings, have that cell phone on your hands at all time, not texting, so you can get help,” Nancy Lightfoot said.
“Walk with anybody, anywhere, worth somebody anytime, because it could have been somebody else and not me,” Diamond said.