An 11-year-old girl has been declared a hero after surviving a terrifying attack inside a bathroom at Sonny’s BBQ in Brunswick, Georgia. Thanks to her commendable bravery, the child’s actions have kept herself and countless other children safe from future harm, with the attacker behind bars.
On April 15, Glynn County Police arrested John Schuler, 40, and charged him with aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and enticing a child for indecent purposes. The identity of the child and her family have been withheld for safety and privacy purposes.
While enjoying a meal at Sonny’s with her father and other family members, the 11-year-old went into the women’s restroom by herself. Moments later, employees and customers heard a horrified scream, and the girl came running out in hysterics.
“As a mom, when I heard that scream, a reality check came over me and probably along with my whole entire staff,” said a Sonny’s employee, identified only by her first name, Amber. It was Amber who grabbed the man out of the men’s restroom where he’d tried to hide, while her co-worker immediately called 911.
“We immediately did like a lockdown,” Amber recalled. “I was not going to let him leave the store.”
“When officers arrived, they spoke with an 11-year-old female victim who reported the following,” Glynn County Police Department stated. “She went into the ladies bathroom inside Sonny’s BBQ and a white male entered the bathroom.”
“The male grabbed her around the mouth and throat and attempted to subdue her,” the police report continued. “The female victim screamed and fought off the male and ran out of the bathroom.”
According to the girl’s family, Schurer told the girl to “hush it!” when she started screaming, but she refused. The girl’s father forced the man into a table and told him “he wasn’t going anywhere.”
Schuler is a registered sex offender in Georgia and was convicted of child molestation in 2008. Now, the Brunswick community is seething with disgust over the incident, and parents and grandparents are on guard.
“Each and every grisly discovery of unspeakable acts committed against the most vulnerable among us, fills us with outrage, and disbelief,” the victim’s mother wrote on Facebook. “I am still in disbelief that this happened to my child. But it can.”
“I hate to even think about it, but there is no telling what he would have done to (my daughter) had she frozen in fear,” the mother continued. “He is a proven repeat offender.”
Amber and her co-worker, Jordan, know the incident could have been much worse. They believe God placed each person in the restaurant that day in order that a criminal might be brought to justice.
“This was a God moment,” Amber expressed. “God put me in the right place at the right time, put Jordan in the right place the right time, put my staff in the right place.”
“That’s what I believe,” she concluded. “God saved this girl, we were just people in the right place.”
According to WJXT, the Sheriff called the young girl “a hero,” for fighting off her attacker. Her actions are a poignant reminder for parents and grandparents to remain vigilant in public places, and always teach kids how to put up a fight.