An 11-year-old boy who was home when someone broke in used a machete to fend the intruder off.
Braydon Smith was home alone on June 14 when someone knocked on the door.
When no one answered, the man broke in.
“When he came in the room, he pointed the gun at me and he told me to sit down on the ground and get in my closet. And I did that,” Braydon told WFMY.
The intruder went into another room to grab items before returning to talk to the boy.
“He found my phone on the counter and he took the phone but he dropped it, and that’s when I picked up my machete and hit him in the back of the head,” Braydon said. The suspect, later identified as Jataveon Hall, 19, kicked the boy, who lashed out with the machete again but missed this time.
The suspect fled the scene and was later admitted to a hospital with injuries.
“He pointed a pellet gun at me that was located in our house. I knew that it wasn’t loaded so I just sat down and got in my closet like he told me to,” Braydon recounted to ABC 11. “He went into the living room to grab my phone to make sure I didn’t call the 911 or anything. When I saw him try to put it in his pocket. I grabbed my machete off of my wall and went to hit him. I hit him in the back of the head like right here.”
Later that day, Hall left the hospital, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. The office had been working on warrants but wasn’t able to take him into custody.
Hall was arrested on Sunday.
Braydon told the broadcaster he bought the machete with gift cards and has used it to cut down trees.
— Steve Campion (@SteveABC13) June 17, 2019
Braydon was thankful he was able to defend himself but his father said the boy was focused on another issue after Hall fled.
“He was like, ‘Am I still going to be able to play baseball and get back into the house to get my uniform?’ I said heck yeah we are going,” Christopher Smith told WFMY.
“I thank God he had a big part in it. The Lord was looking out for him today,” he added.
Smith told ABC 11 that robbers burglarized their house several years ago, prompting him to give advice to Brayden: “If they come in the door, you let ’em have it.”
The sheriff’s office later released a statement outlining what happened.
“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. He entered the living room behind the intruder, swung the machete, and struck the man in the back of the head. The man retaliated by kicking the boy in the stomach, causing him to fall against the couch. The boy got up, swung the machete again, missing this time,” the office said in the statement, which was obtained by Fox 8.
“The intruder then kicked the child in the side of the head and turned to grab several items, including a television and a PlayStation. At this point, the intruder realized he was bleeding significantly from the machete strike. He dropped the electronics, exited the residence, and all three suspects fled the home.”
Sheriff Charles Blackwood added: “Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case. This is a very tough kid who kept his wits about him. 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.”
Hall was scheduled to appear in court on Monday afternoon.