MINEOLA, N.Y. — Police are looking for the two men suspected of attacking and trying to kidnap two 8-year-old girls on Long Island.
At about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday, two unknown men approached the two girls as they were playing in the yard of a home on Maple Avenue in Mineola and chased the girls around the yard, police said.
PIX11 News spoke to the father whose daughter and goddaughter were the targets of the attack.
"The girls were jump-roping in the backyard and one of the perps said, 'What's your name? Do you want to come into my car? Do you want to come in to Chevy?' then opened the gate and came in after them," he said.
The girls tried to run into the house. Relatives were inside, just a few feet away. But one of the girls was knocked to the ground by a man who then struck her in the face, leaving marks.
The girl started to scream and kick the man, police said.
The men then ran away. One of them escaped in a dark-colored vehicle, while the other fled on foot.
Both girls told their parents what happened and their parents then called 911.
Nassau County police praised the girls for their actions. By yelling and running, they may have prevented their own kidnapping.
"They definitely did the right thing," Detective Lt. Richard Lebrun said. "When there's any type of stranger-danger situation, you can flight, you can fight, you can get away, you can run. But for the most part, you have to protect yourself."
Police described the culprits as being between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet tall with dark complexions and beards. They were both wearing blue T-shirts and yellow pants at the time of the attack.
Anyone with information is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.