An 11-year-old boy put into a closet thwarted a robbery Friday when he got out and hit the intruder in the back of a head with a machete, the Orange County sheriff said.
“This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said.
The boy was alone at a home off Yarborough Road in Mebane, North Carolina, when a woman knocked on the door around 11 a.m. As the boy looked outside and saw a man standing near a car, another man broke a window on the other side of the home and came in, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.
The man who broke in grabbed a pellet rifle that belonged to the homeowner and forced the boy into a back bedroom closet, officials said. He told the boy to stay there.
The man went into the living room, where he picked up a cell phone and put it into his pocket, officials said. That’s when the boy, who officials said is a star baseball player on several teams, left the closet and got a machete, they said.
The boy went into the living room and swung the machete at the man, hitting him in the back of the head.
The man kicked the boy in the stomach, knocking him into the couch, but the boy got up and swung the machete again, officials said. He missed, and the man kicked the boy in the side of his head, they said.
The man turned to grab a television, Playstation video gaming system and other items before realizing he “was bleeding significantly from the machete strike,” officials said.
The man dropped the electronics and left the house. He and the other suspects fled.
Deputies responding to a 911 call about the break-in, first checked on the boy and then started gathering evidence, officials said. They alerted local hospitals that someone might be coming in with a cut to the head.
A short time later, officials said, a man showed up in the UNC Hospitals emergency room in Hillsborough. The man, later identified as Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, of Monroe, matched the description that the boy had given to deputies, they said.
Hall is still in the hospital, deputies said, and will be charged with breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child under 12 when he is released. His first appearance in court will be Monday.
State corrections records show Hall has two previous convictions for larceny in 2017.
“Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case,” Blackwood said.
“This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” he added. “At the same time, I want to reflect that this youngster, his family, and indeed this community, are very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child.”
The case is still under investigation, he said, and more charges are pending against Hall and the others involved in the case. Officials did not identify the second man or the woman in the news release.
Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Jason Nazworth at 919-245-2925.