Father of murdered teen urges self-defense classes after attempted kidnapping video surfaces

FL mom fights off kidnapper, saves daughter
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 17:43:04-04

 A normal day of shopping turned into a nightmare for mother and daughter in Florida. 

The surveillance video showed the suspect, Craig Bonello, dragging a 13-year-old girl across the floor and toward the door of a Dollar General in Hernando, Florida. It happened Tuesday around 11:40 a.m.

The would-be kidnapper only stopped in his tracks when an off-duty deputy coincidentally pulled up to the scene.

"Absolutely horrifying," said Greg Smith. "I can understand - I know what that feeling is like. I didn't have an opportunity to react or do anything about it."

A stranger murdered his daughter Kelsey nine years ago after kidnapping her from an Overland Park Target parking lot.

"We want people to stop and think - this really could happen to you," said the now advocate who runs the Kelsey Smith Foundation. "Most people tend to be detached - it only happens on TV, it happens in Florida, it happens in Overland Park, Kansas. It happened to my daughter. It can happen to anybody, anywhere."

Since then he's dedicated his life to the Kelsey Smith Foundation, an organization which teaches the public self-defense.

"What happens when people are confronted with things they are not used to, in a scary or violent situation like that, three things happen. You get someone who is scared and wants to run, someone who is scared and wants to fight or you freeze. Most people freeze," he explained.

That's why he's speaking out, hoping this chilling video serves as a wakeup call that everyone should know basic self-defense.

Kelsey Smith Foundation offers self-defense classes, which are in part sponsored by the nonprofit's annual golf tournament. This year's tournament falls on Monday, July 18. They are still accepting players and sponsors.

Kelsey Smith Foundation® 10th Annual Charity Golf Classic

  • DATE: Monday, July 18 
  • WHERE: Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Lenexa, Kansas (20200 Prairie Star Parkway Lenexa, KS 66220)
  • WHAT: Four-person scramble with breakfast, lunch and awards reception following golf. Breakfast and registration begin 6:30 a.m. Call to Carts at 8 a.m.
  • MORE INFO: For questions or donations contact: Missey Smith 913-558-1691 or email Alternatively, you can call the Falcon Ridge Golf Course 913-393-4653. 



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