A brave 11-year-old boy who confronted an armed home invader with a machete is being called a hero. Braydon Smith was home alone when Jataveon Dashawn Hall and two accomplices broke into his Mebane, NC house on Friday.
A female accomplice knocked on the front door of the home, and when Braydon answered the door, she distracted the child while Hall and another male broke into the home through a window at the back of the house.
Hall, 19, grabbed a pellet gun in the home and forced Braydon into a bedroom closet, telling him to stay there.
Braydon watched as Hall and the other male stole electronics - including a television and his PlayStation console. But when Hall pocketed Braydon's cell phone, the youngster took swift action.
"He pointed a pellet gun at me that was located in our house and I knew that it wasn't loaded," Braydon said. "So I just sat down and got in my closet like he told me to. And then he went into the living room to grab my phone to make sure I didn't call the 911 or anything. When I saw him try to put it in his pocket, I grabbed my machete off of my wall and went to hit him."
Braydon, who is described as a "very tough" baseball star, whacked Hall in the back of the head with the machete, nearly severing Hall's head just above his neck.
Braydon then called 911 to report the break in. "I hit him in the back with this machete," he told the 911 dispatcher.
Bleeding profusely from his head wound, and needing emergency medical attention, Hall made his way to UNC-Hillsborough Hospital, where his condition deteriorated and he was transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital.
But police say security at UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital was lax. Hall's condition improved and he was allowed to walk out of the hospital.
Hall, who was wearing a hospital gown and blue socks, strolled past a nurse on his way out the door. He reportedly told her the police would be looking for him.
He was captured 40 hours later at his mother's Burlington apartment.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office was not notified of Hall's departure until he was long gone.
"Most concerning of all is that hospital police did not even know Hall had left the premises almost ten hours prior," Chief Deputy Jamison Sykes told reporters. "Indeed, Hall's absence was only discovered when we placed a phone call to them."
Braydon's father, Christopher Smith, told ABC News he taught his son how to use the machete to defend his home.
"If they come in the door, you let them have it," he said.
When an ABC reporter asked Braydon if he was scared, the boy said everything happened so quickly, "that I didn't have any time to think about what I was going to do."
He added: "I knew I had to act in the heat of the moment."
Braydon had advice for parents who leave their minor children home alone: "Always have your kids prepared for anything."
The boy also addressed the hapless burglars who chose the wrong house to break into.
"You're better off to get a job than breaking into other people's house," he said.
“Always have your kids prepared for anything,” 11-year-old boy who hit an alleged robber with a machete sayspic.twitter.com/9iHMWdIggU
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) June 17, 2019