Hero boy, 13, stops Upper Darby home invasion

July 6, 2012 3:55:19 PM PDT
"When I heard police, that was, like, the best thing I had ever heard in my entire life."

The arrival of Upper Darby police at a home in the 400 block of Grace Road meant the end of a terrifying 4th of July ordeal for Rhonda, who asked us not to use her last name, plus three other women and a three-year-old.

The five were held at gunpoint by three suspects, who burst in and demanded cash, apparently mistaking the home for a drug house.

The robbery was thwarted by Rhonda's 13-year-old son.

"Before I had a chance to realize what was going on, there were guns pointed at my head. So they were chasing him with guns through the house. And he just ran out the back door," said Rhonda.

When Rhonda's 13-year-old realized what was going on in his house, he ran down Grace Road to George's Water Ice, where they let him use the phone to call 911. Police were about a block away and quickly answered the call.

"The cops kicked in the door, they still had guns trained on us, pointed to our heads. And they were shocked as well. They had no idea that the cops were going to come, and they took off running upstairs," said Rhonda.

But police had the house surrounded. And the three suspects surrendered.

They're identified as 23-year-old Dominique Avery, 23-year-old Darryl Sanders and 24-year-old Jerel Whitaker, all of Philadelphia.

"If it wasn't for the 13-year-old, we'd have never caught these guys. These guys truly are scumbags. They're animals. That's what they are," said Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

Rhonda calls her son's actions heroic.

"I'm just so thankful that he thought enough to run and not stay. Because even I was so shocked I couldn't move," she said.

Only after the ordeal did the teen give in to fear.

"He is afraid to go home. You know, what do you tell a 13-year-old? We've just been violated. It's just a violation," said Rhonda.

The suspects are due in court on Monday.