Authorities later arrested one of the suspected intruders after he turned up at area hospital nursing a head wound incurred when the boy, described as a “star baseball player” by deputies, drove him off with a machete.
The suspect was identified by Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) as 19-year-old Jataveon Dashawn Hall.
Hall faces a cluster of offenses including breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications, and assault on a child under 12, according to the Mebane Enterprise.
Two other suspected accomplices also face possible charges for the incident in the small city in rural North Carolina.
The boy, described as a “very tough kid” by the local deputy, was home alone on the morning of June 14, when he saw a man standing outside near a car as a woman knocked on the door of his house in Yarborough Road, Mebane.
At that moment, a third person (later identified as Hall) broke in through a window on the side of the house, according to a news release cited by local media.
“That intruder took possession of a pellet rifle belonging to the homeowner and forced the juvenile into a back bedroom closet, instructing him to remain there,” deputies said.
But the boy didn’t stay where he was told.
According to the press release from the Sheriff’s office, “The suspect picked up a cell phone that was not his and was placing it into his pocket as he entered the living room of the home. The juvenile, who is a star baseball player on several area teams, left the closet and was able to gain access to a machete.”
The boy caught the man on the back of the head with a swing of the machete. The man retaliated, kicking the boy several times, before scooping up several items, including a Playstation and a television.
“At this point, the intruder realized he was bleeding significantly from the machete strike,” according to the Sheriff’s Office. “He dropped the electronics, exited the residence, and all three suspects fled the home.”
After deputies arrived at the house, they notified area hospitals to keep an eye out for a man matching Hall’s description needing treatment for a head wound.
Shortly afterward, Hall arrived at the ER at UNC Hospital in Hillsborough.
According to local reports, Hall is still in hospital.
“Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in the OCSO press release, reported the Mebane Enterprise.
“This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” said Blackwood. “At the same time, I want to reflect that this youngster, his family, and indeed this community, are very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child.”
Mebane is a small city with a population of around 15,000.
A neighbor, who has lived on the same road as the boy for over 45 years, told WNCN she never heard anything quite like this happening in the area.
“That is amazing,” the neighbor said. “I do not like to be at home by myself, because there are some things that happen around here.”