When a boy was approached by a stranger, who seemed to have nefarious intent, his fast thinking came in handy. With just a little help, the quick-witted kid was able to thwart a possible kidnapping attempt — and it was all caught on video.
Sammy Green, a fast-thinking 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy, was walking home from school on High Street in Pottstown — a town about 40 miles outside of Philadelphia — on a Friday afternoon when he faced every parent’s worst nightmare. With stories of abduction and child trafficking filling the news, the last thing any parent wants is for their child to be approached by a stranger attempting to lure them away, but that’s exactly what Sammy faced. Thankfully, however, he knew what to do.
As Sammy was walking home, he was approached by a woman who started asking him questions. “Started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was,” the boy’s dad, Sam Green, recalled. Then, she offered Sammy treats from a local convenience store if he came with her. “She said she probably knew me and was going to Wawa and that he was supposed to go with her and he could get anything he wanted,” Sam told ABC 6 Action News.
“She was like, ‘I’m going to Wawa. Are you going there? What are you getting from Wawa? Where’s your family at?'” Sammy recalled, according to CBS News. Thankfully, Sammy didn’t fall for it. Instead, the boy was suspicious of the woman. Even so, he remained calm and deployed his quick wit, thwarting a possible kidnapping attempt and becoming the poster child for how to diffuse a potential abduction, The Blaze reported.
Without hesitation, the fast-thinking fourth-grader devised a plan that very likely prevented his own kidnapping, and it was all captured on surveillance camera video. In the footage, seen below, we first see Sammy Green walking with the unidentified woman along the sidewalk outside of a store called Dani Bee Funky. Being familiar with the store, which happens to be his favorite, Sammy then makes a quick detour inside, but the woman is initially undeterred. That’s when Sammy gets a little help from a 17-year-old young lady.
After entering Dani Bee Funky, Sammy Green quickly makes a beeline for the counter, where Hannah Daniels, the store’s 17-year-old cashier is working. Boldly, Sammy goes behind the counter, right next to Hannah, and slyly whispered in her ear as the suspect stands at the entrance of the store, waiting and watching the boy. “I was still shaking when I was in here,” Sammy admitted, but he seemed to know just what to do.
“He was like, ‘Pretend like you’re my mom.’ And I was just like, ‘All right, go to the back.’ He didn’t want to leave my side,” Hannah recalled. Remaining calm, the cashier put herself between Sammy and the woman who was still standing at the door as she walked over to the front of the store, where the woman was holding the door open. Hannah then pulled the door shut and locked it as the woman scampered away.
Although Sammy Green did everything right, that didn’t make the surveillance footage any easier for his dad to watch. In fact, when Sam watched the store’s surveillance video repeatedly, he tried to avoid thinking about what could have happened. “When we were watching that video, I cried every time I saw it,” Sam admitted. “To see my child looking for help because he was afraid basically for his life,” he said, “That cuts you deep.” The suspicious woman was eventually tracked down by police, who said she was getting treatment for mental health issues.
Of course, Sammy Green has been heralded as a hero for his actions, and Hannah Daniels had her praises sung as well. “I am very proud of her,” Dani Small, the store owner of Dani Bee Funky, said of the cashier. “Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly,” Dani added. Indeed, both Sammy and Hannah did everything right and that’s why their story is so valuable.
This incident serves as a reminder and a lesson for other parents to train their children on how to handle a potential kidnapping in progress, and that’s what Sam Green hopes others take away from his son’s frightening encounter. “Think of every scenario and make sure that children know and also practice it,” Sam advised. “Practice your situations and scenarios just like fire drills.”
That’s solid advice, and this video can help. Talk to your children about strangers and being aware of their surroundings. In addition, minimize the time your child must be alone since there is always safety in numbers. In Sammy’s case, he now has a family friend who walks him home from school, his family said. When it comes to our kids, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.