A brave 9-year-old girl in Florida is being hailed a hero after fighting off and chasing a robber who stole her mother’s purse outside of a supermarket.
Journee Nelson and her mom, Danielle Mobley, had just finished grocery shopping at Sabor Tropical Supermarket, 5011 Broadway Ave., on November 2 when the incident happened.
Surveillance footage shows the pair walking up to their car in the parking lot. A man in a gray hoodie—later identified as Demetrius Jackson, 29—stands next to large propane tanks nearby. Suddenly, he runs toward Danielle, who is loading groceries in the car.
Demetrius and Danielle both struggled for the purse as the latter tried to fight him off. The man reportedly told her to let go of the bag or “you’re going to make me pop you” while reaching for his waistband.
Journee, already in the passenger seat, quickly jumped out of the car and came to her mom’s rescue. The young girl mightily threw multiple punches at the suspect’s face.
Bystanders also rushed to the pair to help the mother-and-daughter fight off the robber, as shown in the video.
“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,” said West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderley, a former chief in Fort Lauderdale.
The crook pushed Journee to the ground, and that’s when Danielle let go of her purse. Demetrius took off, but Journee wasn’t done with him yet.
The lionhearted lass jumped up and chased him four houses down the block, with her mom chasing after her and calling her back.
“I fought back,” Journee recalled of the terrifying moment. “I had to save my mom.”
Unfortunately, the thief got away with Danielle’s purse, which contained a smartphone, wallet, gum, several bank cards, $40 cash, and a concealed carry permit.
Journee’s actions led to a positive outcome as the suspect was caught by the police and arrested two days after the attack. He has since been charged with robbery and battery. It’s unclear if he has retained legal representation.
In the days following the incident, Danielle and the West Palm Beach Police Department applauded Journee for her valiant efforts.
“I’m very proud of her that was her initial reaction,” Danielle told WSVN.
However, the experience has undoubtedly scarred them emotionally and mentally.
“I wish, sometimes, things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally,” she added. But knowing that the perpetrator has been caught makes them feel better.
The West Palm Beach Police Foundation honored Journee with a medal, certificate, and Target gift card.
“Chief Adderley honored a 9-year old child today for bravery as she ran to her mother’s defense to fend off a brazen robber. The West Palm Beach Police Foundation presented the child with a token of appreciation,” the department wrote in a Facebook post, which included photos from the event.
In one of the pictures, Journee is seen sitting on a police motorcycle. Another showed her smiling as she held her medal and certificate.
“I wouldn’t recommend that you confront an individual like that but in the heat of the moment things happen,” said Police Chief Adderley.
Journee’s actions might be a sign of what she would grow up to be. According to Danielle, she is torn between being a police officer or a teacher.
But whichever path Journee chooses, we’re pretty sure her protective nature and boldness will shine through.
Good job, Journee! Check out the video below to learn more about her amazing story.
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