This wasn’t the first time 11-year-old Braydon Smith’s home was broken into.
But this time around, he was prepared.
Braydon single-handedly defeated a suspected home intruder last week after hitting the 19-year-old trespasser on the head with a machete that was hanging on his wall.
“It went by really fast and I knew that I didn’t have any time to think about what I was going to do,” he told CNN affiliate WTVD.
So as soon as he had the chance, he grabbed the large weapon nearby and struck him.
The family and community are “very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child,” Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement.
“This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” he said.
The frightening encounter
The young boy was home alone Friday morning in Mebane, North Carolina, when a group of intruders arrived, his mother Kaitlin Johnson told WTVD.
Smith was on the phone with his mother as a car pulled into his driveway. One man broke through a window, another woman knocked on the door and later yelled that nobody was home, Johnson said. Smith told authorities another man was waiting in the vehicle.
The man who came in through the window — Jataveon Dashawn Hall — grabbed a pellet gun and forced Braydon into a closet.
“I knew that it wasn’t loaded so I just sat down and got in my closet like he told me to,” Braydon told the affiliate. “Then he went into the living room to grab my phone to make sure I didn’t call 911 or anything.”
When the intruder came back, Braydon grabbed the machete that was on his wall and hit him in the back of the head.
After the intruder was hurt, he kicked Braydon in the stomach and the side of the head before grabbing a PlayStation and a television, according to WTVD.
But bleeding heavily, he soon dropped the electronics and fled with the rest of the suspects.
‘Have your kids prepared for anything’
Braydon wasn’t afraid to pick up a machete. He normally uses it to chop down trees, the affiliate reported.
But he had also been taught by his dad how to defend himself, after burglars broke into their home years ago, according to WTVD.
“If they come in the door, you let them have it,” his father, Christopher Smith, says.
Braydon, who is also a baseball player, says parents should make sure their children know how to act.
“Always have your kids prepared for anything,” he said.
His message to the intruder
Hall was arrested late Sunday at his mother’s apartment, after escaping the hospital he was being treated at wearing only a gown and socks.
He is facing charges of breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications and assault on a child younger than 12, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Braydon has a simple message for the intruder: he shouldn’t have done it.
“You’re better off to get a job than breaking into other peoples’ house,” the boy said.