Life
Security cam films brave kid trying to get away from 3 guys following him in car
10-year-old Grayden had been walking home when strangers tried to lure him into their vehicle. He made a dash for his front porch - but the door was locked and the car started to back up.
Elijah Chan
11.24.21

It was a nightmare that unfolded right in front of a family’s house.

But thanks to one boy’s quick thinking and awareness, a possible tragedy was foiled from the start.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

10-year-old Grayden Dowland makes his usual 200-foot trek from his basketball coach’s house to their home three times a week. He has taken this route far too many times to think there’s danger just lurking around.

One evening, however, his trek turned dangerous.

Three guys, all of which were strangers, sat inside a white sedan. They were following Grayden’s every move as he walked back to his house.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

“They said, ‘Hi’ and I started walking faster,” Grayden told FOX 13. “And they said, ‘Get in the backseat, we have some candy.’”

They attempted to entice Grayden into coming with them.

Grayden acted quickly. He knew that there was danger written all over the situation. So instead of engaging the men, he ran down the street in an attempt to get to their house.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

The car didn’t let up and tried to follow where Grayden was headed. He quickly ran to their porch in hopes that he could finally escape the horrifying episode.

The car went past the house but stopped nearby.

In the chilling security footage, you can see Grayden glance and crane his neck to see what the men were up to.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

They were parked a few feet away from the house, probably checking if someone was coming out to help the kid.

But when Grayden turned the knob, he realized that the door was locked.

The car’s rear lights lit up.

Grayden quickly ran to the side of the pathway where rocks littered their landscaped lawn. He screamed “Mom! Mom! Get away! Get away!” before threatening to hurl rocks at the suspicious car.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

When the opportunity showed itself, Grayden made a run for the neighbor’s house. Fortunately, the door was open. He barged in then locked the door behind himself.

He saw the car enter another neighbor’s driveway and waited there, seemingly watching the boy from afar.

When the crisis ended, the family was left scarred.

“It was really real,” his dad, David Dowland, quoted by FOX 13, said. “I saw the video and it’s gut-wrenching.”

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

He further explained that it was scary to think how this kind of thing could happen right in front of their doorstep despite living on the property for 14 years.

Since then, the family implemented safeguards to stop this from happening again.

They implemented a buddy system to ensure that their kids are never alone. David also shared that moving forward, they will pick him up or Grayden’s coach will escort him home.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 13 News Utah

As parents, you can also protect your kids from situations like these. According to the University of Michigan, you should always warn your kids not to talk to strangers. They should also run and scream should they force them to get in the car.

When lost, they should only ask people who work around the area. And most of all, kids should always ask for permission when they’re going anywhere with anybody. They should be able to tell where they’re going, how they’re going to get there, with who, and for how long.

Flickr - Ivan Radic
Source:
Flickr - Ivan Radic

Hopefully, with these tips, fewer children will be exposed to this kind of danger. As for the Dowlands, they’re lucky that Grayden was smart, quick-witted, and brave.

Press play on the video below to see the scary footage for yourself!

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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