A man caught in the act of abducting a little girl in Wichita Falls intended to sexually assault her.
The 7-year-old girl was riding her scooter on her block in Wichita Falls, Texas when the unfamiliar man approached her. An 11-year-old neighbor, identified as TJ Smith, is one of several children playing outside on Saturday afternoon, thought at first that the man might just be her cousin.
But something seemed off about what was happening, said TJ by local television station KAUZ.
TJ then alerted adult neighbor James Ware, who ran outside, then went back in to grab his keys. TJ, meanwhile, kept following the kidnapper identified as 26-year-old Raeshawn Perez, and was able to direct Ware to the back of a vacant house on a nearby street.
Ware says that when he got there in the 1300 block of Clark Street, Perez had the girl and looked like he was about to put her through a window. Ware and another adult witness chased and tackled Perez after the man put the little girl down and tried to run.
Police say, Perez, 26, told them he was planning to have sex with the girl. He was charged with aggravated kidnapping and is being held in the county jail.
Perez was charged with aggravated kidnapping. His bail was set at $50,000 and he remained in the Wichita County Jail.
Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana told the Times Record News he was grateful for all of the people who helped stop Perez.
“It’s one of my proudest moments,” he said. “I represent the city of Wichita Falls and for me to represent three citizens like this, especially one who’s 11 years old, that keeps his wits about him and uses a little bit of bravery to help stop something that we don’t know what would have happened. Right now, we have a little girl that’s safe at home because of an 11-year-old and two other individuals who stepped up as community members.”
In connection to the unfortunate incident, WFPD Public Information Officer Brandi Young said:
“This was an isolated incident, we want to stress to parents that it was isolated and there’s not any danger in the community from this. But to keep in mind safety tips on watching your children especially if they’re playing outside or when you’re out shopping always keep them close to you.”
According to Opposing Views, folks online praise TJ for his amazing job, and for being a hero:
“TJ is definitely a hero!” one reader commented on Facebook. “So are the men that believed TJ and stopped this horrible individual. There is hope for all when people take a stand against Evil!”
“Sick sob,” another wrote. “Don’t get it….why these perverts will be allowed to walk free again. Their victims will be ruined for the rest of their lives. I say since they like to rape children maybe they should be put in general population in prison and the guards go to a long lunch and let them see what it feels like to be raped over and over again!!!!!!!!!”
“What a great hero he is to get adult to help in saving the little girl!” commented another. “Bravo! We need more people like this boy in the world! It just might make this world a better place to live in! Is a start in the right direction.”