by: Amy Napier Viteri Updated:
ATLANTA - The mother of a teenager attacked by a man near her Atlanta school bus stop is speaking to Channel 2 Action News about the frightening experience.
The man accused of attacking the teen is currently in police custody. Two good Samaritans tackled the suspect.
Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri talked to the teen's mother about the terrifying moment she realized her daughter was in trouble.
“She called me on her cellphone and I heard her screaming,” said the girl’s mother.
The mother, who asked us to only identify her by her last name, Miller, said she was walking to meet her daughter at the bus stop on Garson Drive off Piedmont Road early Tuesday morning when she got the frantic call. Seconds later, she saw a man, who police identified as Tansu Kanlica, grabbing her daughter by the neck and arm.
“He said he had been watching her. He grabbed her by the neck and he was trying to pull her to the ground,” Miller said.
Miller ran for her daughter and said a man sitting at the light offered them a ride to a nearby Pep Boys store to wait for police. Channel 2 talked to that driver, who asked not to be identified.
“Normally, in Atlanta, you are terrified when somebody walks up to your car. But my gut instinct was these people needed help,” the driver said.
Surveillance video from Pep Boys showed what happened just minutes after the mother and daughter got inside. Manager Mike Lingerfelt and another employee spotted the suspect walking up the street and went outside and tackled him to the ground.
“I knew I was not going to let this guy get away to hurt anybody else. So at that point, I just went after him,” Lingerfelt said.
Miller said Lingerfelt and the others are heroes, but said there were others who witnessed the attack from their cars and did nothing.
“If you don't want to get out for your safety, I understand that. But honk, scream, do something. Call 911. Nobody called 911,” Miller said.
“That's how my dad and my family raised me, was to treat people how you want to be treated. And if I was in that situation I would hope somebody would come to my rescue,” Lingerfelt said.
Miller said she's glad Kanlica is off the street.
“If he was on the loose it would have happened to somebody else and that's the scary part,” Miller said.