Police credit a gutsy 10-year-old girl with foiling a would-be child kidnapping.

Bobbie Jo Rawlin, a 45-pound freckle-faced fourth-grader, yelled and chased after a 6-foot-2-inch man who tried to abduct a 2-year-old girl at an apartment complex playground.The man, apparently intimidated, fled in his car and left his intended victim behind, police reported.

The incident occurred Friday evening at the Kings Place Apartments in northeast Kent, where Bobbie Joe and her family live.

Bobbie Joe and a 6-year-old friend, Molly Rector, were playing in the playground sandbox with several other children.

A man suddenly came by, snatched 2-year-old Nichole Rae Boyer and began running.

Bobbie Jo and Molly yelled at the stranger, and Bobbie Jo began running after him.

"I was yelling, `Put that little girl down!' " Bobbie Jo recalled. "When he got to the barbecue, he tripped me. I got back up and chased him."

Finally, she said, the man let the toddler go and ran to a waiting car. But before he left, he told Bobbie Jo, "I'm gonna come back and get you next time."

The man remained at large Sunday.

Aside from running after the man, Bobbie Jo did precisely what her mother taught her to do.

"She knows she's supposed to yell and scream and kick and get away if a stranger comes up to her," said her mother, Darlene Rawlin, 37. "Yelling is the best thing for kids to do."