Karate School Credited For Boy Escaping Attack

BELMONT, Mass. -- Police are still looking for the man who tried to kidnap a 10-year-old boy in Belmont. Meanwhile, the boy’s parents have credited a self-defense program for helping him break free of his attacker.


Newscenter 5’s Todd Kazakiewich reported the man attempted to abduct the boy from Burbank Elementary School.


But the boy also attends Craig's Kempo Karate Academy in Watertown, where kids learn self-defense techniques.


"We teach them to scream, 'help, this is not my parent, they're trying to steal me'. We also teach them just to strike and kick and pinch and bite and do whatever they need to do to get away,” said Craig Scott Craig, an instructor at the academy.


Craig said the boy responded the right way.


“It's about knowing what the situation is, and how to react,” he said. “If we don't teach them how to do this, they won't know, and it's the ones that don't know how to react are the ones that are going to have the troubles out there.”


Parents of other students are shocked by the crime, but relieved that the training kicked in.


“You just hope they never have to use it. But to have that, and to have the confidence to know what to do, was amazing,” said Stacey McCarthy, a parent of a karate student.


In the wake of the incident, police have stepped up patrols at Burbank Elementary during the school day.


The man has been described as a white male, 35-40 years old, with brown hair.