Roy girl describes fighting back against would-be kidnapper

Sep 1, 2021, 9:02 AM | Updated: 12:38 pm
roy girl...
Journey Brown speaks with KSLTV (Jay Hancock, KSL-TV)
(Jay Hancock, KSL-TV)

ROY, Utah — It started with a bike ride for a bag of Jolley Ranchers and a soda at the gas station for a Roy girl last Friday. It ended with her fighting against a would-be kidnapper and convicted sex offender.

Journey Brown had gone to get a treat from the Texaco gas station on 4400 South in Roy to grab a treat on Friday, and while there noticed the man watching her.

She was uncomfortable, so she made sure to stay behind him. After checking out, and going back to get her bike, she noticed the man was on the sidewalk in front of her.

“He stopped, so I thought he wanted me to go by him, so when I tried to go around him he turned around and grabbed my neck,” Journey said. “My first instinct was to fight and not to do anything else but fight,” she told Dave and Dujanovic. 

Remembering what her mother told her, she screamed 

She said she made a promise to herself that she wouldn’t let the man take her from her bike and get away with her. So she held on and said she screamed as loud as she could while hitting the man to scare him away. 

After hitting him on the elbow a number of times, Journey said, “He let go and screamed, ‘OKAY’ and ran, and I rode my bike as fast as I could home.” 

In a probable cause statement issued by police, officers said that when they arrested Richard Palmer, he admitted to grabbing the Roy girl and said he planned to take her behind a nearby vacant house and rape her.

“My first instinct was to fight” said Roy girl

That instinct and her promise not to let go came from some lessons she said her mother Lauren Brown had taught her. 

“She told me never to let go if you’re on something, and if they say get in your car, I need some help finding my dog or have some candy, never go in the car and just run and scream as long as you can, and if they do grab you then bite and then run and tell your parents so they can call someone,” Journey said. 

“She is one resilient little girl,” mom Lauren said.

“So many people have said every parent’s worst nightmare is to hear your child come in the door screaming saying someone tried to hurt me. I think they tried to take me just immediately knowing that this person was so close to home and threatening you know, our baby, our baby girl our princess our only daughter. It was absolutely horrifying,” Lauren said. 

She added that for the most part, Journey is doing well because she knows that she did all the right things.

“We have three boys as well and … basically since they were little we have always taught them that if someone tries to take you or says they have a puppy in the car you say absolutely no and you run and you scream.

“We’ve  always taught them to fight, and do not stop fighting, fight and scream as loud as you possibly can, because if someone is trying to get you into the car or into a home or any type of vehicle, the second you’re in that vehicle we may never see you again.”

When and how to have these conversations with your children

Jen Oxborrow, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with people who have experienced trauma said while cases of child abduction like this are very rare, conversations about what to do if a situation like this arises are crucial to have with children. 

Oxborrow said that conversations like the ones that happened in the Brown household should be something that happens continually in the home, in age-appropriate ways.

“We want to be careful not to trigger profound fear in kids, you know, their brains are different when they’re younger, and we don’t want to scare them. We want to empower them,” she said.

Oxborrow said that one of the first things you can do is to validate your kids’ intuition. In Journey’s case she said that something felt off about the man.

“Telling our kids to validate themselves, telling them to recognize that intuition, that sense of something being off,” Oxborrow said.

She added that in society we teach our kids to be really polite and accommodating and that there are messages that if someone is chasing your or bothering you it’s because they like you so be kind to them. 

“But when that bell or whistle goes off that something’s not right. It’s really important to tune into that regardless of what age you are and know what to do and how to get yourself safe.”

The power of positive affirmation

Lauren said in addition to having these sorts of conversations occasionally with her kids, she also did something else.

“Something that I’ve done with Journey since she was little is affirmations in the mirror. I’ve got videos of her at a very young age, two years old, saying in the mirror, ‘I am strong, I am amazing. I am powerful. I am not scared of anything.'”

“Just building their confidence because we need to empower our kids and not make them feel like they just have to be a victim, that they are so much more powerful than we think, and we have so much to learn from them.”

You can hear the full conversation about this brave Roy girl as it aired on Dave and Dujanovic below. 


Related reading:

Update: Suspect arrested after South Salt Lake abduction caught on tape

Today’s Top Stories


Provo Police need help to identify and locate a suspect in a 2020 cold case shooting that happened ...
Devin Oldroyd

Provo Police Department asking for help solving a 2020 cold case

Provo Police need help to identify and locate a suspect in a 2020 cold case shooting that happened at the Missionary Training Center.
4 days ago
salt lake mayorMendenhall guns...
Curt Gresseth

After NY law is struck down, two Utah experts sound off on gun rights

Two advocates on either side of the gun-control vs. gun rights debate sound off on the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling to expand the right to carry a firearm in public.
4 days ago
A men’s maximum-security unit in the new Utah State Correctional Facility in Salt Lake City is pi...
Lindsay Aerts

State leaders cut the ribbon on new Utah State Correctional Facility

After five years of construction, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Utah State Correctional Facility, located west of the Salt Lake City International Airport, was held Wednesday.
5 days ago
Salt Lake City Police are looking into a pair of armed bank robberies Tuesday night in the Salt Lak...
Mark Jones

Update: SLC armed robbery suspect taken into custody

Salt Lake City police are searching for Tanner Cram, age 27, a suspect behind a pair of alleged armed bank robberies Monday evening.
6 days ago
Salt Lake City Police Department recently conducted a speed enforcement operation, which resulted i...
Mark Jones

SLCPD issues 96 citations in recent speed enforcement operation

Salt Lake City Police handed out 96 citations to drivers, and issued 18 warnings to other drivers in a recent speed enforcement operation.
6 days ago
Speed limit sign that says the limit is 80 mph. The Washington County sheriff's office made a drug ...
Mark Jackson

Washington County Sheriff’s Office makes drug bust during traffic stop

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said one of its deputies kicked off the drug bust by making a traffic stop on I-15.
6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Roy girl describes fighting back against would-be kidnapper