11-Year-Old Saved A Young Girl From Abduction In Amazing Display Of Heroism

He said that he could sense something was wrong.

T.J. Smith got to wear a police badge to school last week, and the 11-year-old boy certainly earned it. He was playing outside in his Wichita Falls, Texas neighborhood when he noticed something that just didn't seem right: a man he didn't recognize picked up a 7-year-old girl who lived next to him.

"She was riding her scooter and he picked her up and started walking," Smith told Channel 6 News. "And I chased after him. I thought it was her cousin or somebody."

Realizing something was wrong, Smith ran into the home of a neighbor he knew — James Ware — and told him someone just got kidnapped outside. Quickly, Ware jumped into action.

"So I ran out the door," Ware told Channel 6. "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."

With a group of neighbors and his wife, Ware says he patrolled the neighborhood until he found the house where the girl had been taken. The perpetrator, a man police identified as Raeshawn Perez, had reportedly taken her into the backyard of an abandoned home. By the time Ware found the house, Smith was already there waiting for them.

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"He pointed behind the house, and said he went behind the house," Ware said.

When they got there, he said, they approached Perez, who let the girl go and began to run. According to his account, Ware chased Perez down and was able to tackle him and hold him on the ground until police arrived. 

Another neighbor, Pamela Brown, said she was impressed by the 11-year-old boy but also glad he didn't get in harm's way.

"For him to go by himself like that and chase a man, that was awesome, but also it was scary too," Brown said. "He could have got him too, but he is a hero."

Smith got to wear an Honorary Police Member badge from WFPD to school, and said he was happy to be called a hero. The Department of Justice notes that about 800,000 children are reported "missing" each year, though about 90 percent return home within 24 hours.

You can watch a local news report below:

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