A 9-year-old girl from Florida is being hailed as a hero by local police officers after fighting off a robber by punching him in the face when he tried to steal her mother’s purse earlier this month.
Police officials in West Palm Beach honored Journee Nelson for her bravery in an incident that took place on November 2 outside of her local supermarket. The Miami Herald reported that Journee was given a medal, certificate, and a Target gift card.
Surveillance footage from the day of the attack shows Danielle Mobley and her daughter walking up to their car in the parking lot. A man who has since been identified as 29-year-old Demetrius Jackson can be seen running up to Mobley as she puts her groceries away and tackles her to the ground.
As the two struggled for the purse, Journee ran around the car to help her mother, attacking Jackson by punching him in the face several times.
“I fought back. I had to save my mom,” Journee told WSVN in Miami.
After Journee was pushed to the ground, the 9-year-old jumped up and chased Jackson around five blocks. He eventually got away with Mobley’s purse, which included a cellphone, gum, several bank cards, a Coach wallet, $40 cash, and her concealed carry permit. Police were able to track down Jackson and arrest him two days later before charging him with robbery and battery.
Though West Palm Beach Chief Frank Adderley praised Journee for her bravery, he also warned the public against taking matters into their own hands as she did.
“I wouldn’t recommend that you confront an individual like that, but in the heat of the moment, things happen,” Adderley said as he honored Journee. “I bet he was shocked … because [you] definitely could tell on the video that he was not expecting that, and her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation, and I think she hit him pretty hard.”
“I’m very proud of her; that was her initial reaction,” Mobley added. “I wish … sometimes things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally.”
Both Journee and her mother are relieved that Jackson has been caught and that he will be brought to justice. Jackson will certainly think twice before he messes with a little girl and her mom again!