A teenage boy is being praised for saving his 3-year-old cousin from a man who tried to abduct her at a playground in Tullahoma, Tennessee, Oct. 15.
Jerry Roberts, 14, was playing with his cousin, Isobel, and other family members at the park when he noticed a man arrive in a white van, WSMV reported.
The man got out and sat near a tree. Jerry described him as wearing a hoody zipped up over his face, a hat, and gloves.
“From what he was wearing, I thought I better watch this guy. He might try to do something,” Jerry told WSMV.
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Jerry briefly turned around to check for his little brother and that was when the man rushed up to Isobel, who was on a swing, and snatched her.
Jerry ran down the slide and confronted the man.
“He kicked me off of him, but so I started tackling him again. He started kicking me and hitting me but I kept tackling him,” he added.
Jerry got a bruise on his chest from the incident. Isobel suffered slight bruising when the man dropped her on the ground and ran.
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“I didn't really have time to be scared because I just wanted to save my baby cousin Isobel,” Jerry said.
Desiree Conant, Isobel’s mother, had left the park temporarily to collect food.
“I had just picked up the food and got a phone call that someone tried to kidnap my child,” she told WKRN.
“My nephew is a hero, he saved my daughter,” she added.
Jerry provided a description of the man.
“He was white. He had a black hoodie on that zipped completely up over the face, a hat, he has a short haircut. He was wearing neon yellow Nikes and blue jeans with a white T-shirt,” Jerry said.
Police say the man’s van had no glass in the window cutouts and featured an Ironman sticker on the back.
“We think that's pretty significant that somebody's probably seen a van like that especially with a decal of that nature,” Tullahoma Police Chief Paul Blackwell told WSMV.
Conant hopes members of the local community will help track down the suspect.
“Keep your eyes out for his van. Keep your eyes out,” she told WSMV. “Help us find him, catch him.”