A 7-year-old girl in Wichita Falls, Texas, would have been the victim of an abduction had it not been for a brave 11-year-old boy.
On Saturday, TJ Smith saw his neighbor riding her scooter when a man, identified by the arrest affidavit as Raeshawn Perez, came up and grabbed her.
“She was riding her scooter and he picked her up and started walking, and I chased after him. I thought it was her cousin or somebody," TJ told News Channel 6.
TJ chased after the man for a while, but knew that he needed help. He then decided to knock on the door of a neighbor and ask for help. When TJ informed neighbor James Ware of the situation, Ware knew he needed to act fast.
“So I ran out the door. By the time I got out the door, I ran about a quarter of the way down the alley and I said well forget that, turned around and went back in the house and got the keys,” Ware told Channel 6.
Ware was able to eventually track down Perez. Ware said that by the time he got to that home, TJ was already there.
“He pointed behind the house and said he went behind the house,” said Ware. “I pulled into the alley and threw it in park. My wife yelled at him and told him to put the child down. He was about to put her in a window.”
He said when he got close to Perez, he let the little girl go, but took off running. Ware chased Perez and tackled him to the ground, where he held him down until police showed up.
“This incident right here was an eye-opener, you know, because it could happen to anyone,” said Ware.
Perez was arrested and taken to Wichita County Jail, where he remains. When he was in questioning with police, Perez admitted that he wanted to have sex with the young victim that he attempted to abduct.
TJ received an Honorary Police Member badge from WFPD and wore it to school on Monday. He told Channel 6 that he is happy to be called a hero and looks up to the police officers that arrested Perez.
(Photo: Eyewitness News 6)