Braydon Smith was home alone when he used the machete he originally bought for camping to slash the burglar in the back of the neck

By Joelle Goldstein
June 19, 2019 11:32 PM
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Credit: ABC 11

A burglar who attempted to break into a North Carolina home and steal electronics is likely regretting his decision after he was unexpectedly attacked by the 11-year-old boy who lives there.

Braydon Smith is being praised for his quick thinking and action after slashing the intruder in the back of his neck with the machete he recently bought to cut down trees and branches while camping, The News & Observer reports.

The suspect, who the Orange County Sheriff’s Office identified as Jataveon Dashawn Hall, initially fled the scene and sought medical attention, but has since been taken into custody.

The dramatic ordeal occurred on Friday morning around 11 a.m. while Braydon was home alone and his father Christopher Smith was at work, according to The News & Observer.

The sixth grader was rarely ever left alone, but his father said he mixed up camp start dates and trusted his son enough to stay home for a day and play video games.

While playing Grand Theft Auto on his PlayStation, Braydon told the outlet he heard someone outside his 900-square-foot Mebane mobile home and ran to his bedroom window to find a woman and two men outside knocking.

Not knowing what else to do, Braydon called his mom and told her to call the police, and then went and hid behind his bedroom door, as he heard a window “get slammed in” on the other side of his house, according to the outlet.

The intruder, whom police believe to be Hall, 19, walked through the residence with one of the Smith family’s unloaded pellet rifles in hand, before coming into contact with the sixth grader and threatening him.

“He pointed a pellet gun at me that was located in our house. I knew that it wasn’t loaded so I just sat down and got in my closet like he told me to,” Braydon recalled to ABC 11. “He went into the living room to grab my phone to make sure I didn’t call the 911 or anything. When I saw him try to put it in his pocket, I grabbed my machete off of my wall and went to hit him.”

During the surprise attack, Braydon slashed Hall in the back of the neck and made him bleed — which eventually caused the burglar to flee, the boy said.

Jataveon DaShawn Hall

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“He noticed that he was bleeding in the back of the head really badly,” Braydon told The News & Observer. “So he just dropped everything and ran out of the door… My heart was beating, but I knew that I had to do something.”

Of the quick thinking, Braydon added to ABC 11 that his action was instinctual. “It went by really fast. I knew I didn’t have the time to think about what I was going to do. I just grabbed a weapon in the house and acted with it,” he explained to the outlet.

After Hall allegedly fled the home, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said he stopped at UNC-Hillsborough Hospital at approximately 1 p.m. to be treated for his injuries. He was later transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill Hospital due to the severity of his wound.

Braydon, meanwhile, called 911 and notified officers of the incident. As officials worked to obtain warrants from the magistrate to arrest Hall, the 19-year-old suspect left the hospital “against medical advice,” according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Between 8 p.m. on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, authorities worked around the clock to locate Hall and also made sure that Braydon and his family were safe.

“Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) have established a close patrol in the area of the boy’s home for the protection of the boy and his family until Hall is arrested,” they wrote on Facebook.

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On Sunday, Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced that the Burlington Police Department had “received an anonymous tip that Hall was at his mother’s apartment in that city.”

After responding to the Burlington residence, Hall was taken into custody and a judge set his bail at $175,000, according to inmate records.

He currently remains in the Orange County Detention Center and is charged with breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications, and assault on a child under 12.

It is not immediately clear if Hall has retained an attorney.

According to ABC 11, authorities are now looking for the two other women who allegedly accompanied Hall during the attempted burglary.

As for Braydon, the sixth grader has one piece of practical advice for Hall: “You shouldn’t have done what you’ve done,” he told the outlet. “You’re better off to get a job than breaking into other people’s houses.”