Quick-Thinking 10-Year-Old Escapes Potential Danger

Pennsylvania's Sammy Green, followed by stranger, asked store clerk to pose as mom
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2022 10:20 AM CST

A 10-year-old boy and 17-year-old girl in Pennsylvania are getting praise for quick thinking that thwarted a potentially dangerous situation. Sammy Green says he was walking home from school in Pottstown on Nov. 11 when he noticed a stranger following him for several blocks. The woman then began asking questions, which made him feel as though she was trying to lure him away. "She was like, 'I'm going to Wawa, do you want to come with me?" the fourth grader tells WTXF. The woman reportedly claimed to know his family and offered to buy him anything he wanted, per WPVI. Scared and shaking, Sammy ducked into a store and approached the clerk with an unusual request.

"Act like you're my mom, this lady is following me," 17-year-old Hannah Daniels recalls the boy whispering in her ear, per USA Today. "He was really panicked." Surveillance video shows that as Sammy spoke to Hannah, the unknown woman lingered in the open doorway. Hannah then went to the door, pulled it closed, and locked it and the woman walked away. Police say they only learned about the incident from social media. "Several of our officers recognized the woman on the Facebook video as a local homeless woman that is often in the area," Chief Mick Markovich tells USA Today. He adds the woman has since been located and referred for mental health treatment.

Regardless of the woman's intentions, Sammy's father, Samuel Green, says his son acted appropriately. "He did what he was supposed to do because he didn’t know the person," he tells WPVI. "It was really, really, really scary. But, he handled it so well, and I'm so proud of him," he adds, per WTXF. Green also praises Hannah, though she tells WCAU that "I honestly just showed up to work that day and I diffused a possibly dangerous situation. Sammy is the hero here." Green says he’s thankful that he'd spoken to Sammy about what to do when faced with "stranger danger" and advises other parents to do the same. "Practice your situations and scenarios just like fire drills," he says, per USA Today. (Read more Pennsylvania stories.)

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