Texas neighbors tackle suspect, save young girl from abduction

Neighbors who saved a young girl tell their story
Published: Dec. 13, 2016 at 3:41 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2016 at 4:14 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The family members of a Texoma girl who was abducted Saturday said they are thankful neighbors jumped into action to save the 7-year-old.

They said if the neighbors did not step in who knows what could have happened.

In the arrest affidavit police said Raeshawn Perez told them in questioning he wanted to have sex with the young victim.

Perez was taken down by witnesses quickly after the girl was taken from a front yard in the 1600 hundred block of Elizabeth avenue in Wichita Falls on Saturday.

Perez is now sitting in the Wichita county jail thanks to those who were nearby.

Pamela Brown, who lives in that neighborhood, said she was terrified. Especially because it happened so quickly.

"I mean all the kids were here and someone to do it right in front of somebody, yeah that is scary," said Brown.

Neighbors said they are in shock this happened on their street and impressed by the actions of 11-year-old TJ Smith.

Brown said, "For him to go by himself like that and chase a man. That was awesome, but also it was scary too. He could have got him too, but he is a hero."

TJ said he was just doing the right thing, and with siblings of his own maybe it was his brotherly instinct that kicked in.

"If I was a little girl I would be scared too. She was riding her scooter and he picked her up and started walking, and I chased after him. I thought it was her cousin or somebody," said TJ.

TJ said once he realized something was wrong he ran to the home of a familiar face.

James Ware said TJ told him a kid just got kidnapped.

"So I ran out the door. By the time I got out the door I ran about a quarter of the way down the alley, and I said well forget that, turned around and went back in the house and got the keys," said Ware.

He said with the help of neighbors he found Perez with the victim at a vacant house on a nearby street.

Ware said by the time he got to that home, TJ was already there.

"He pointed behind the house, and said he went behind the house," said Ware.

"I pulled into the alley and threw it in park. My wife yelled at him and told him to put the child down. He was about to put her in a window," said Ware.

He said when he got close to Perez he let the little girl go, but took off running.

Ware was finally able to catch Perez and hold him down until police showed up.

"This incident right here was an eye-opener you know, because it could happen to anyone," said Ware.

He adds if it was not for TJ this story would have a different ending.

TJ received an Honorary Police Member badge from WFPD and wore it to school on Monday.

He said he is glad to be called a hero and looks up to police officers and respects all that they do.

Pamela Brown said a lot of the parents in the neighborhood had a talk with their kids about the incident.

She said they are stressing for their children to use the buddy system and to look out for one another.

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