When most adults would scream and panic, these two little girls showed bravery.
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Arnetha Harris was still anxious Saturday evening after going through what she described as a parent’s worst nightmare.
Police say someone broke into her house on Red Lane Drive while her two daughters, 8 and 14, were inside the home.
“To get a phone call like I did this morning after I just left home, headed to work and not knowing at that point in time what was going. I was just in awe, when I got here and found out what was going on,” she said.
Harris’s oldest daughter Derykah Sudduth said she heard a knock on the window. She said it happened right before the intruder made his way into the house.
“I didn’t think anything of it at first, but something just told me to go and look. As soon as I came and looked around the corner the window busted open,” Sudduth said.
Sudduth said at that point they ran into a bedroom, locked the door and hid under the bed. She then called police.
“I feel like it came naturally,” Sudduth said.
Harris is proud of her daughters quick and calm action.
“They couldn’t have did it any other way. They stayed out of site. They stayed quiet. He never knew they were in the home and I applaud them for that,” she said.
Birmingham police also recognized their bravery and awarded the girls junior police badges for staying calm in the face of danger.
“The kids absolutely had a bad experience. They were obviously scared. You try to make them feel as good as you can. They did a real good job by calling us, staying hidden and not putting themselves in danger, in line with what a police officer would do,” Officer Paul Blackford said.
Blackford responded to the burglary call and said there’s a heightened sense of urgency when kids are involved.
“At that point in my mind it doesn’t matter if there’s anybody in there or not you have two small kids that are scared and we need to get there to take care of the kids,” he said.
Police say the burglary suspect was caught walking out the front door of the home with electronics in his hand.
“This is a situation an adult could find scary and be frozen with fear, unable to act. For an 8- and 14-year-old to think and respond was an example of bravery and cunning. They outsmarted a criminal, and won a victory for crime fighting. Too bad we can’t hire them yet!” said Birmingham police Sgt. Bryan Shelton.