11/30/2012 07:19 EST | Updated 11/30/2012 07:26 EST

Rodrigo Tavares Charged With Abduction: 9-Year-Old Girl Fights Off Noxious Cloth Kidnapper


Actions by a nine-year-old Edmonton girl are being described by Edmonton police as courageous, after fighting off a would-be-abductor who attempted to subdue her using a cloth laced with a noxious substance.

The attempted kidnapping occurred on Nov. 28 around 3 p.m. near 45 St. and 137 Ave., when a man grabbed the girl and forced the laced cloth up to her face, the Edmonton Police Service said.

But the girl kicked, yelled and ran away, foiling what could've been a tragic event, said Staff Sgt. Rob Paton, of the EPS Child Protection Section.

“This little girl acted very courageously. She’s obviously been listening to her parents and teachers, because her quick reactions undoubtedly prevented the abduction," he said.

Police then warned schools in the area about the incident and provided them with the suspect's vehicle description, said Paton.

Police say they then moved in on the suspect afer a sharp-eyed school administrator saw a vehicle matching the description circling his school.

“This incident was a prime example of how the public played a key role in helping police to locate and arrest a potentially dangerous predator,” said Paton.

Rodrigo Tavares, 53, is charged with kidnapping and administering a noxious substance.