11-year-old uses machete to defend himself against home intruder: 'I knew I had to act'

An 11-year-old boy from North Carolina is speaking out after using a machete to defend himself during a home intrusion.

Braydon Smith, a young boy from Mebane, N.C., told The News & Observer that he “didn’t have any time to think” when he was confronted by a suspected burglar while home alone on Friday. But he was able to act quickly and use the machete on his wall to fight off the suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Jataveon Dashawn Hall.

“He pointed a pellet gun at me that was located in our house. And I knew that it wasn’t loaded, so I just sat down and got in my closet like he told me too,” Smith told the North Carolina newspaper, explaining that Hall then went to grab Smith’s phone so that he couldn’t call 911. “When I saw him try to put [the phone] in his pocket, I grabbed the machete off of my wall and went to hit him, and I hit him in the back of the head.”

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect had walked into the UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital for treatment of a laceration to the back of his head shortly after the encounter. Deputies were notified of his presence in the hospital. However, the sheriff’s office reports that the suspect left the hospital against medical advice after telling the nurse that “police were going to be looking for him.”

Hospital police weren’t aware that Hall had left until one of the sheriff’s office deputies called to check on him. Sheriff Charles Blackwood stated, “I am not in the business of assigning blame.” Instead, they called on the community to assist in tracking Hall down.

On Sunday, deputies received a tip that Hall was at his mother and stepfather’s house, where he was arrested that afternoon. Hall has since entered the Orange County Detention Center where he awaited a Monday trial. No other details have been released.

The News & Observer reports that police are still looking for two additional suspects. In the meantime, the boy is feeling lucky that he was prepared to defend himself in the scary moment, with a machete that he usually uses to cut down trees.

“I knew I had to act in the heat of the moment,” he told the newspaper. “Always have your kids prepared for anything.” Smith’s father, Chris Smith, didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

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