In Texas, an 11-year-old boy has been touted as a hero after he helped foil the plans of a suspected sexual predator.
The suspect, Raeshawn Perez, was stopped from kidnapping a 7-year-old girl by two, fast acting Good Samaritans – one being 11- year-old TJ Smith.
The young hero spoke to KAUZ on Monday, where he recounted the terrifying events. Smith talked of how the little girl was riding her scooter along Elizabeth Avenue when a man came up to her, picked her up and started walking away.
Smith told reporters that he initially thought the suspect was a relative of the girl but when he realized something was wrong, he followed the man.
As he was chasing Perez, he approached a neighbor, Brad Ware, to tell him of the abduction that was taking place. Immediately Ware and his wife got in their car and started searching for the suspect.
Eventually the Ware’s were able to locate the man in a vacant home nearby. Smith was already waiting for the couple when they arrived at the location.
Daily Mail recounted the events of the intense confrontation:
Ware’s wife yelled at Perez to let the girl go just as he was about to carry her into the empty house through a window.
As Ware approached the suspect, the man released the seven-year-old and took off running, but the Good Samaritan was able to catch up with Perez.
Ware said he kicked the man in the groin, but Perez escaped his grasp and sprinted across the street. Undeterred, Ware went after him, tackled Perez to the ground and held him down until police arrived to arrest him.
Ware said when he asked Perez what he was doing with the girl, the 26-year-old allegedly replied that he just wanted to have sex with her.
According to police, Perez claimed he planned on letting the child go after he sexually assaulted her.
Ware told reporters of the young hero’s actions, “He’s the one that more or less saved this kid from being killed or raped.”
‘If I was a little girl I would be scared too,’ Smith said recalling the situation he selflessly assisted in.
The Wichita Falls Police Department awarded the heroic 11-year-old for his bravery with an honorary police member badge. Smith proudly adorned the badge to school on Monday.
Perez has been charged with aggravated and public intoxication. He is being held at the Wichita County Jail on $50,000 bail.
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