9-year-old Florida girl protects mom from suspected robber with barrage of punches: 'Right in the face'

West Palm Beach police say Journee Nelson and her mother were shopping for groceries at Sabor Tropical Supermarket on Nov. 2 when the suspect tried to steal her mom’s purse.

“We walked out the store and then I took a little glance at him and then I looked back at the car and then I opened my door. And then, next thing I know, I saw him running towards my mom,” Journee said Sunday on ‘Fox & Friends Weekend.’

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Police say while Journee’s mother was loading groceries into her car, the suspect ‘rushed up on her’ and began to violently pull at her purse before knocking her down. The suspect reportedly told the mother to let go of the purse or “you’re going to make me pop you” while reaching for his waistband. 

Journee ran towards the encounter, punched the suspect on his head and then chased him four houses down. The suspect initially got away, but was later identified as Demetrius Jackson and arrested two days later, police said.

Journee was honored by the police department with a medal and certificate for her quick actions and courage.

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“Chief Adderley honored a 9-year old child today for bravery as she ran to her mother’s defense to fend off a brazen robber. An #arrest was swiftly made in this case. The West Palm Beach Police Foundation presented the child with a token of appreciation,” West Palm Beach PD said in a Twitter post.

The chief told WSVN that while the girl was brave, he does not recommend anyone confront a suspected criminal.

“I wouldn’t recommend that you confront an individual like that but in the heat of the moment things happen. I bet he was shocked when she kicked him right in the face because he definitely could tell on the video that he was not expecting that, and her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation, and I think she hit him pretty hard,” Chief Frank Adderley said.

Jackson was charged with robbery and battery, FOX 35 Orlando reports.

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