8-year-old says man pointed gun at her, tried to take her from Atlanta playground

An 8-year-old girl said she doesn’t feel safe going back to school after a man grabbed her, choked her and pointed a gun at her on the playground during recess, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

The girl, identified only as Bailey by the news station, said she was attacked at Deerwood Academy on Monday afternoon. 

Bailey said she was on the slide when a man grabbed her and started choking her. While he had his hands around her neck, a gun fell out of his pocket, she said. 

“And then he picked (the gun) up and pointed it to my face and it touched my nose,” she told Channel 2. “And then he said, ‘Don’t move.’” 

Bailey said the man tried to get her to leave the school with him. However, her teacher blew a whistle signaling the end of recess, and it scared the attacker away. 

No teachers saw the man, according to Channel 2.

Bailey’s family told Channel 2 she was taken back to class after the incident. Atlanta police confirmed to the news station that they weren’t notified until nearly six hours later. 

“Just the fact that a stranger could come off the street and grab your child,” her mother said, “and instantly be gone.” 

In a statement, Atlanta Public Schools said after the incident was reported to school staff “the students were immediately evacuated from the playground and the entire school placed on lockdown until police were able to assess the situation.” 

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