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The Pottstown, Pennsylvania fourth-grader is safe thanks to a tactic he learned from his dad.

What started out as a routine walk home from school quickly escalated into a terrifying scenario for fourth-grader Sammy Green.

What Happened When a Stranger Followed a Young Boy Home

little boy wearing a backpack and walking
Photo by Caleb Oquendo

10-year-old Sammy was on his way home from school when he noticed that he was being followed. After following him for a couple of blocks, the strange woman approached him and began talking to him.

The stranger “started walking with him and asking him where his family was, asking where his dad was,” Sam Green, the boy’s father, told ABC6. She insisted that she “probably knew” his father.

She then attempted to lure Sammy to a nearby convenience store, promising him that he could get “anything he wanted.”

Wanting to get away from her, Sammy tried to come up with an escape plan. “I was scared and shaking, so I was thinking something really fast,” Sammy said.

His quick thinking paid off. Remembering what his dad had taught him if he ever found himself being followed, Sammy looked for a helper. Luckily, he found one.

How a Boy’s Quick Action Saved Him From a Potential Kidnapping

In an interview with GMA, Sammy shared the safety strategy he learned from his dad: “If you’re getting followed, don’t trust them. Just act casual and go by any adult.” So, that’s exactly what Sammy did.

As he passed by a store familiar to him called Dani Bee Funky, Sammy made his move. Surveillance footage from the store’s camera shows that he darted in front of the stranger and walked inside. The stranger stayed behind, standing in the doorway.

The boy immediately stepped behind the cash register and whispered in the cashier’s ear, “Pretend like you’re my mom. This lady is following me.”

How a Teen Cashier Came to the Boy’s Rescue

17-year-old cashier Hannah Daniels didn’t hesitate. In a situation that would have had any adult’s heart racing, she stayed calm and took immediate action.

“He was like, ‘Pretend like you’re my mom,'” Hannah told CBS, “and I was just like, ‘All right go to the back.’ He didn’t want to leave my side.”

Putting herself between Sammy and the woman, the teenager went to the front door, pulled it shut, and locked it. The woman ran away and Sammy called his dad.

Thanks to the quick thinking of a courageous 10-year-old boy and the equally quick actions of a 17-year-old who didn’t stop to think twice about helping him, a potentially dangerous situation came to a safe conclusion.

The shop’s owner, Dani Small, isn’t surprised by Hannah’s willingness to help a stranger in need, saying she is a “good, caring soul. “I am very proud of her. Hannah is a 17-year-old young lady. She did everything correctly,” Small said.

Police were able to track down the woman involved. She is a local homeless woman and is now receiving mental health assistance. No charges have been laid.

The Importance of Teaching Our Kids Stranger Danger Tips

little boy hugging his dad
Photo by Vlada Karpovich

While all’s well that ends well, Sam Green is painfully aware of the fact that this could have ended quite differently. The video footage is difficult for him to watch.

“To see my child looking for help because he was afraid basically for his life,” he said, “that cuts you deep.”

The family is hoping that by sharing their story that it will inspire other parents to teach their kids about stranger danger. He urges parents to practice different role playing scenarios and equip them with the tools they need if they find themselves in dangerous situations.

He’s also organizing a “Guardian Angel” neighborhood watch group to ensure kids’ safety walking to and from school.

As for Sammy, he’s taking a different route home for now. According to Today, he walks three blocks to a family friend’s home and stays there until his father picks him up.

On his television show, Mr.Rogers Neighborhood, Fred Rogers famously advised kids to “look for the helpers.” Thankfully, one 10-year-old boy had the smarts and the courage to do just that. And while he deserves all the praise, so too does the teenage girl who, when she saw someone in trouble, didn’t hesitate to jump in and help.

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