WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — This is one girl you shouldn’t mess with.
A 9-year-old South Florida girl is being hailed as a hero by police for fighting off a robber who attacked her mother outside a supermarket earlier this month.
Journee Nelson intervened when a man approached her mother at their car and grabbed her purse on Nov. 2, WPTV reported. Surveillance video released last week by the West Palm Beach Police Department shows Danielle Mobley and her daughter, Nelson, walking up to their car in the parking lot of Sabor Tropical Supermarket, according to the Miami Herald.
A man later identified as Demetrius R. Jackson, 29, of West Palm Beach, was standing nearby, the newspaper reported. According to the video, Jackson then ran at Mobley, who was about to put groceries in her car, and tackled her to the ground.
The video shows Nelson get out of the passenger seat of the car, run toward Jackson and hit him on his head several times, WPTV reported.
“I fought back,” Nelson told WSVN. “I had to save my mom.”
Jackson fled, but Nelson ran after her.
“She actually jumped up and chased him four houses down the block with me chasing her, calling her back,” Mobley said during a news conference.
Jackson escaped and took Mobley’s purse, which contained her cellphone, gum, several bank cards, $40 cash and a concealed carry permit, according to the Herald.
West Palm Beach police were able to track the stolen phone to an abandoned home, where they found Mobley’s purse and other belongings, WPTV reported.
Jackson was arrested on Nov. 5, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office online booking records. He faces battery and robbery charges, records show.
West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley held a news conference on Nov. 18 to honor Nelson.
“I wouldn’t recommend that you confront an individual like that but in the heat of the moment things happen,” Adderle told reporters. “I bet he was shocked when she hit him right in his face, because you can definitely tell on the videotape that he was not expecting that and her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation and I think she hit him pretty hard.”
Adderly presented Nelson with a medal, a certificate and a Target gift card, the Herald reported.
Perhaps Nelson’s actions are a hint of her future career goals. Mobley said her daughter is trying to decide whether to become a police officer or a teacher, according to WPTV.
“I’m very proud of her that was her initial reaction,” Mobley told WSVN. “I wish we, sometimes, things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally.”
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