A woman was following him on the way home from school and he immediately remembered what his father had taught him about such situations.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 18, 2022. It has since been updated.
Around 840,000 children are reported missing every year in the US and while many of these reports are resolved within hours, some children go missing permanently. A 10-year-old might have had a similar fate if not for his quick and smart thinking. Sammy Green was heading home from school in Pottstown when a woman began following him, reports CBS News.
Sam Green, the boy's father, told WPVI, "Started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was." The woman then tried to lure Sammy away by asking him to go to a nearby store with her. "The woman then attempted to get Sammy to enter a neighboring convenience shop. She said she probably knew me and was going to Wawa and that he was supposed to go with her and he could get anything he wanted," Green said.
10 yo boy escapes woman following him: Sammy Green, a 4th grader in Pennsylvania, was walking home from school when a woman tried to lure him away - so he went into a store & asked a 17 yo cashier to pretend to be his mum.— 🇦🇺🇳🇿 ♀️Emma ♀️ 🇭🇺🇬🇧 (@TheCynicalHun) November 16, 2022
She locked the door! Well done to both! 🥇🏆 pic.twitter.com/1OJ4ldHoNO
Speaking to CBS News, Sammy explained that the woman was making him uncomfortable with several questions. He recalled, "She was like, 'I'm going to Wawa. Are you going there? What are you getting from Wawa? Where’s your family at?'" Fortunately, the boy quickly understood what was going on and entered a store he was familiar with and approached the 17-year-old cashier, Hannah Daniels.
"He was like, 'Pretend like you're my mom,'" Hannah said, "and I was just like, 'all right go to the back.' He didn't want to leave my side." The nerve-wracking moment was recorded on the security camera at the store, which also shows the unfamiliar woman standing by the door as if she were waiting for Sammy. Hannah walked calmly up to the door, putting herself between Sammy and the woman and locked it from the inside.
The woman walked off, all thanks to Sammy's quick thinking and Hannah's efforts to keep the child safe. The boy recalled, "I was still shaking when I was in here." The shop's owner, Dani Small, praised her employee for having prevented a possible kidnapping. "I am very proud of her. Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly," Small said.
The boy's father felt similarly and was glad that his son had followed the instructions he'd previously given him on how to navigate such scenarios. Green said, "When we were watching that video, I cried every time I saw it. To see my child looking for help because he was afraid basically for his life that cuts you deep."
However, he said that this is an important lesson for all parents. "Think of every scenario and make sure that children know and also practice it. Practice your situations and scenarios just like fire drills." The woman involved was apprehended by police and is currently getting mental health treatment and has no charges filed against her. Sammy is being hailed as a hero and now has a family friend walk him home from school.