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, her mom Danielle Mobley, and Journee had just finished their grocery shopping at Sabor Tropical Supermarket (5011 Broadway Ave.) on November 2 when the incident took place.
Surveillance footage shows them walking up to their car in a parking lot. A man in a gray hoodie—later identified as Demetrius Jackson, 29—stands next to large propane tanks nearby. He runs towards Danielle who is loading groceries in her car.
Both Demetrius, Danielle and the purse were fought over by the latter. 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.
The video shows that passersby also helped the mother-and-daughter to fight off the robber.
“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 lion-hearted lass ran after him, chasing him down four houses. Her mom chased her and called 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. Since then, he has been charged with battery and robbery. It’s unclear if he has retained legal representation.
Danielle and West Palm Beach Police Department praised Journee’s bravery in the days that followed the incident.
“I’m very proud of her that was her initial reaction,” Danielle told WSVN.
But, they are undoubtedly scarred emotionally and mentally.
“I wish, sometimes, things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally,” she added. They feel better knowing that the perpetrator was caught.
Journee was presented with a certificate, medal and a Target gift card by the West Palm Beach Police Foundation.
“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.
Journee can be seen riding a police motorcycle in one of the photos. Another picture showed her smiling while holding 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. Danielle said that she is torn whether to become a teacher or a police officer.
But whichever path Journee chooses, we’re pretty sure her protective nature and boldness will shine through.
Good job, Journee! You can see more of her incredible story in the video below.
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