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home : blogs_old : ability and accountability July 27, 2015

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
rhaddad@westernnews.com
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Friday, September 17, 2010

Could a backpack have stopped this child abduction?

 By Richard Haddad

The backpack's inventor, Edric Sizemore, redesigned his original concepts in 2004 after watching a security video footage of an 11-year-old girl, Carlie Brucia, being abducted from a Sarasota, Florida car wash in 2004, and then learning that she was brutally raped and killed. (See the 58-second surveillance video below.)

I have four sons and one daughter. At the risk of sounding sexist I will admit that I worried far more about my only daughter when it came to sending her out into the world. Whether it was attending a schoolmate's slumber party or sending her off to college, I was always looking for ways I could protect her from a distance without looking like the obsessed, overprotective father.

The truth is, nothing worked -- I looked like the obsessive father at every turn.

I bought her pocket-sized cans of pepper spray, showed her techniques to disable or escape an attacker, I even bought her a pink baseball bat and made her promise to keep it next to her bed when she moved into her first apartment away from home.

The day she was married to a fine young man I knew I finally had to start letting go.

Now here is what inspired this blog entry today: I watched a television news broadcast on You Tube featuring an interview with a man who invented something I wish was around when I was that obsessed, overprotective father. The inventor, Edric (Rick) Sizemore, is a musician. He and his brother founded a band in the late 1970s called Magnum Force and had a 1982 hit recording called "Share My Love."

What he invented is a backpack that at first glance looks much like any standard-sized backpack normally used by school children, high school and college students. It's lightweight and inconspicuously equipped with two 130-decibel sirens that can be heard within a 100-yard radius and a high-intensity strobe light that can be seen from up to 400 yards away. The alarm can run continuously on a set of batteries for up to five hours and is louder than most car alarms.

From what I researched after seeing the news video and learning of his invention, Sizemore has been working on this idea since 1996. For years he watched news reports and read headlines about violent assaults on women and children and he seemed to make it a personal goal to do something about it. He redesigned his original concepts in 2004 after watching a security video footage of an 11-year-old girl, Carlie Brucia, being abducted from a Sarasota, Florida car wash in 2004, and then learning that she was brutally raped and killed. If you watch the full 58-second security video (also posted below) you will see that shortly after Carlie Brucia was pulled out of camera range other people can be seen walking or riding their bikes in the same area. I can't help but think that had this girl been wearing Sizemore's security backpack she could have easily alerted others to the abduction and survived.

Now I didn't mean for this blog entry to sound like a product endorsement, but I don't mind sharing the link to the isafe Web site, isafebags.com. What I will openly endorse are people with ideas like Edric Sizemore, who saw a terrible injustice and worked for years to make a difference. My heart aches when I see such crimes, and especially when children are abducted and willing people were close enough to help had they only been aware. This is a product that is clearly functional, more affordable than I expected, and practical for a child, but also carries a powerful, easy to use deterrent that can bring peace of mind to a parent (or grandparent) like me.

Click here to visit isafebags.com





Related Links:
• Learn more about Edric Sizemore's security backpacks

Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Article comment by: Margie W

Even if it may not have made a difference in this particular Florida case, it very likely could make a difference in other cases. I think two sirens going off at 130-decibels each along with strobe lights would be quite an unexpected and effective deterrent, especially coming from a child that was seemingly helpless. I think it would cause an abductor to try elsewhere. I would buy this product if I still had a young child at home. I may buy it for my granddaughter.

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010
Article comment by: Hmmm... Let me think...

I would like to think that a backpack would've stopped this kidnapping. Perhaps it might have if it had that alarm system invention. But in my opinion it looks like the girl went pretty willingly and without much of a fight. I don't care if the guy was telling me, "I'm going to shoot/stab you if you don't come with me...." I would start screaming on the top of my lungs, punching, kicking (where it counts), scratching, biting, you name it, I'd be doing it. More than likely because I was making a scene, he would take off. If he did decide to stab me or shoot me I'm betting he would be scared someone would see him and shoot/stab non-fatally... Again this is just my opinion and it is still sad that this girl was kidnapped and killed...

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Article comment by: J L

So what if Mr. Haddad is endorsing this product. If this product saves ONE child it will be worth the effort. If that happens then more people will be aware of such a product and hopefully more children will be saved. Safety of our children should be the number one concern of parents.

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Article comment by: A Parent

Just this month there were several reports of stranger child abduction attempts in the Phoenix area. Children walking home from school. Whether it is military defense training or a back pack like this, the more we can do to protect or children the better. The threat is real.

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Article comment by: Military defense program!

I trained my girl in (MSD) Military self defense.
A method I helped to teach troops during desert storm.
The body's weapontry consists of the hands, feet, head, shoulder, knee (femur bone is largest in body), mouth, legs, arms, elbow.
There is a 99% chance at least two of these mentioned are going to be free to use. People are just not trained in the destruction capability that any one of these can cause.
There is always an opportunity to use these tactics even when a gun or knife (at close range) is pointed your way. There exists an opportunity window of time for surprise usually just shortly after, or in the onset of the confrontation. Attackers, 80% of the time believe woman or girls are going to be an easy battle this works also to the girls advantage. The tide turns, and the attackee becomes the attacker. This defense program does not require the girl to be wonder woman, it is more in the technique and usefulness of the body's own weapontry. This program builds the confidence to a level of intellegent decision making, which alleveates the "freeze factor", a condition where the person freezes up in fear.
It is proven, that once an attacker has you in a automobile, you are at a disadvantage. Every family reunion my 16 year old girl challenges her cousins to a spar and ALWAYS puts her 25 year old, (construction worker 6'2" 195pound) cousin in the dirt and he is usually bloody..
This works !!!!
The only difficulty is convincing the girl she is capable of this with proper training !


Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Article comment by: J L

Richard L. That day was Super Bowl Sunday, the streets were deserted, dusk was already setting in. How do I know this? We used to live in that area and we knew this young lady. Look at the times. Abduction was at 6:21. Later it's dark, later as in 10 mins. You are correct in that she wasn't scared, she knew this monster, but through her mother and step father. If there is ONE chance to save a child from a monster like this, then all the better. Maybe this person invented this because he was sick and tired of hearing about child abductions. Would this have saved Carlie, we will never know. This isn't sensational journalism, this was and is reality, a reality that hit us hard.

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Article comment by: Sharon T

I agree with Stef. With what is happening today we have every right to be protective, even if it means we appear over protective. I think this backpack is a clever invention. It is another tool for parents.

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Article comment by: Used To Do

The real chilling aspect of this video, whether or not there's a time frame manipulation, is that the child did not look scared or worried. I thought that I noticed a slight hesitation in their body language, but maybe it was wishful thinking on my part. It just looks benign. I teach my grade school child that evil doesn't look like it does in TV or movies. No black hats or mean looking ugly faces. While it's true that an infinitesimal fraction of the general public will ever have to face the horror of the above video, belittling those who try to protect their children is unconscionable.

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Article comment by: Stef M

To Richard L ...How unfortunate that you live in a fairytale world where everything is "just fine". Unfortunately we live in a world where people are sick and demented and whatever it takes to protect your children, you should do. You cannot be overprotective anymore. This world has changed and even our small community has changed. Wake up to reality.

Posted: Saturday, September 18, 2010
Article comment by: Richard L

It seems to me that you are still an obsessive and paranoid person and that this blog is nothing more than a product endorsement. These gimick ideas are just another attempt at a quick fortune. Over 99% of all abductions are by family members or friends and the child does not even suspect that they are being abducted and would not have a reason to activate the alarm.
After watching your included video it is not apparent to me that this child was scared and would have activated an alarm. And then you stated that there are other people walking by within the 58 secord video. This is true that the people appear in the video but it appears that the video was modified and sections removed as the lighting went from daylight to almost total darkness in the 58 seconds.
All abductions are horrible. It is quite disturbing that family members feel that an abduction of their own child or grandchild is the correct course of action. However, your endorsement of an alarm backpack is only spreading paranoia and alamism. How much talk radio do you listen to?
The best protection of a child has been and always will be a loving and nurturing home life, communication and education about the dangers of the world without paranoia. Do you know that "stranger danger" has been so brainwashed into small children that when separated and lost from their parents they will hide from rescuers because they are strangers.
Remember that sensational journalism is what sells newspapers, TV commercials and talk radio. We need a little more common sense and less paranoia.




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