Florida 9-Year-Old Commended for Fighting Off Mom's Attacker

Young hero wants to be a teacher when she grows up
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2021 3:50 PM CST

A man approached Journee Nelson’s mom and tried to take her purse. Journee was having none of that. Surveillance video from a nearby business shows a man push Danielle Mobley, Journee’s mom, to the ground. Journee can be seen springing into action, punching the attacker in the head, and chasing him away. "I thought he was running at the store, but he was running toward my mom," Journee told WPTV, which has video of the Nov. 2 attack. Mobley tried to fight off her attacker, but Journee was nearby and was knocked over. “When he pushed her down, I just let the purse go,” Mobley told Fox News. Journee gave as much chase as a responsible 9-year-old could—about four houses down—then returned to her purseless mom.

Mobley’s phone was in her bag, and West Palm Beach, Florida, police tracked it to a nearby house where it was recovered. Police charged Demetrius Jackson in the crime, and Mobley and Journee were able to identify him from photos. West Palm Beach Police Chief Frank Adderly called a press conference to honor Journee with a medal and certificate—and a gift card to Target, too, the Miami Herald reports. In an interview with Fox, Journee agreed she is a hero, though her mom said she’d prefer her daughter be careful and safe. “We definitely don’t want her to go after people in the future,” she said, noting that the attack and its aftermath had taken a mental toll on both of them. And Journee will continue to be a hero in the future: Asked what she wants to do when she grows up, she said, “I want to be a teacher.” (More uplifting news stories.)

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