WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- TJ Smith was playing outside when an upsetting sight caught the 11 year old’s attention.
It was a 7-year-old girl being snatched from her scooter by a young man who was quickly running away.
Now, his quick thinking has people calling him a “hero.” Initially, Smith thought the man was the girl’s cousin, but as the scene unfolded he knew something wasn’t right. He quickly alerted a nearby neighbor and ran after the kidnapper.
The neighbor, James Ware, ran down the alley to help but quickly turned around and jumped in his car. Ware found the Smith boy standing outside an abandoned house.
“He pointed behind the house, and said he went behind the house,” said Ware. “I pulled into the alley and threw (the car) in park. My wife yelled at him and told him to put the child down. He was about to put her in a window.”
Ware asked the man to let the girl go, and he complied but bolted when Ware tried to approach him. Fortunately, Ware caught up to him and held him down until police arrived.
“This incident right here was an eye-opener you know, because it could happen to anyone,” said Ware.
Smith, who has siblings of his own, knew he had to help. “If I were that little girl, I would be scared too,” he said.
To reward his heroic actions, the Wichita Falls Police Department made him an honorary police officer and even gave him a badge to wear.