The unidentified girl was walking Monday afternoon when the attempted abduction occurred, police said, describing the driver as a light-skinned male and the car as a white Chevrolet Impala.
"Physically she's not injured, but obviously this is going to take a toll on her," Police Detective DeAnna Greenlaw said, adding police interviewed the girl and her mother to get a better description of the attacker.
Residents of the Riverbend neighborhood, where the incident occurred, described the area as a rough place to grow up, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Tuesday.
"You got crack heads, you got dope fiends, you got murderers, you got punks, you got suicidal people," said Avyosha Harris, 32, who said she has lived in the area for six months. "To be only 9 and have that much strength to run away, more power to her."