A heroic 15-year-old boy on a bicycle saved a 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl from a kidnapper over the weekend, becoming a community hero in the process.
Missing for nearly two-and-a-half-hours, authorities were only moments away from issuing an Amber Alert for the girl when she was returned, CNN reported Monday.
Speaking to a reporter with Lancaster Online on Saturday, 15-year-old Temar Boggs said he was helping move an elderly woman’s couch at a nearby apartment complex Thursday evening when someone approached asking if he’d seen a little girl.
After a short break, Boggs and a friend, Chris Garcia, walked outside again only to discover a swarm of police in the streets. They were all searching for 5-year-old Jocelyn Rojas, who was taken by a man while playing in her front yard just two hours earlier.
Boggs and Garcia hopped on bikes and began pedaling frantically. Suddenly, about a half-mile away from the apartment complex, Boggs spotted her in a dark red car being driven by white man, said to be approximately 50-70 years old.
The two boys followed the vehicle for about 15 minutes as the driver took a winding path through shady neighborhood streets before realizing the teens were onto him. That’s when the man reportedly pulled over at a stop light, pushed his young victim out of the car and sped away.
Boggs took the girl to the authorities right away, much to her parents’ relief. “I’m definitely grateful God was watching over her and brought her home,” the girl’s mother, Jaimee Smeal, told a local ABC News affiliate.
Police said at a press conference on Friday that the girl was assaulted during her ordeal, which allegedly began when the man offered to take her to get ice cream. The suspect remains at-large.
This video is from NBC affiliate WPTV, aired Monday, July 15, 2013.