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10-Year-Old Boy Uses A Clever Trick To Escape A Stranger Who Started Following Him After School

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little boy sitting on street curb holding stuffed animal

A little boy is being praised for his quick thinking after realizing that he was in danger of possibly being kidnapped on his way home from school.

Sammy Green, a fourth grader from Pottstown, Pennsylvania was leaving school for the day when he noticed that a strange woman was walking behind him, and instead of panicking he used his smarts to put his safety first.

The little boy noticed he was being followed and went into a convenience store for help.

According to WPVI, Green managed to thwart a stranger's attempt to follow him home. In an incident caught on surveillance footage, the little boy was walking when a woman began to trail behind him, and Green told the news outlets that the woman tried to lure him into a store under the guise that she knew him.

The woman reportedly "started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was," Green told the outlet. "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."

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Security footage managed to catch the moment that Green walked into a store called Dani Bee Funky to ask for help. The 10-year-old boy walked through the door and immediately made a beeline to the register before speaking with the cashier, a 17-year-old girl named Hannah Daniels, while the woman who had been following him stood in the doorway of the store.

Green approached Daniels and told her that a strange woman had been following him since he left school and whispered in the cashier's ear: "Act like you're my mom. This lady is following me." The store's owner, Dani Small, told the news outlet that Green must've felt "comfortable enough to come in here."

Daniels calmly walked to the front of the store, locking the door and separating Sammy from the stranger, who eventually left. "He was like 'pretend like you're my mom,'" Daniels told CBS. "And I was like 'alright, go to the back' and he didn't want to leave my side."

"I am very proud of her," the shop's owner, Small, told ABC 6. "Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly." 

Police were eventually able to find and apprehend the woman for following Sammy.

The Pottstown Police Department told WPVI that police were able to locate the woman and that she was "being referred for mental health services." Sam Green, Sammy's father, told Good Morning America that he's more than thankful for not only Daniels but how his son handled the situation as well.

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"Watching that video, man, I cried every time I saw it," Green told GMA. "I'm just so proud of my son for doing what he did."

As for Sammy, the quick-thinking 10-year-old explained that despite his fear, he was able to remember the one safety detail his father always stressed to him. "If you're getting followed, don't trust them. Just act casual and go by any adult."

Parents must make sure to have those safety conversations with their children, especially when they begin walking home from school by themselves and trying to maneuver in the real world without adult supervision. Some of those safety hacks can include making sure that if something off is happening, going straight to any adult, yelling and causing a scene if someone tries to grab them, or even having a special safety word to use in case of emergencies.

boy uses clever trick to escape stranger following him after schoolPhoto: damircudic from Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

"Children need to know that they can speak up. If something is making them feel scared or uncomfortable, they have the ability, they have the right, to speak up to an adult, a trusted adult," Callahan Walsh, a child advocate for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, told GMA.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.