Human Interest 9-Year-Old Girl Fights Off Man Allegedly Trying to Steal Mother's Purse: 'I Had to Save My Mom' "Her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation, and I think she hit him pretty hard," Chief Frank Adderley said of Journee Nelson By Joelle Goldstein Joelle Goldstein Instagram Twitter Joelle Goldstein is the Staff Editor of TV for PEOPLE Digital. She has been with the brand for five years, beginning her time as a digital news writer, where she covered everything from entertainment news to crime stories and royal tours. Since then, she has worked as a writer-reporter on the Human Interest team and an associate editor on the TV team. In her current role, Joelle helps oversee all things TV, and enjoys being able to say she has to watch The Kardashians, America's Got Talent, Love Is Blind and Dancing with the Stars for her "work" responsibilities. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Joelle was employed at The Hollywood Reporter, where she was co-nominated at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards for Outstanding Magazine Article for feature cover story. She graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor's degree in Television-Radio (and an appearance in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Final Four!) People Editorial Guidelines Published on November 23, 2021 05:24 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Journee Nelson being honored for her heroic actions. Photo: Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook A 9-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero after she fought off an apparent robber who was reportedly attempting to steal her mother's purse. Journee Nelson didn't think twice about protecting her mom Danielle Mobley after a man recently attacked her in West Palm Beach, Fox affiliate WSVN reported. "I fought back," Journee told the outlet. "I had to save my mom." The incident unfolded on Nov. 2 as Nelson and her daughter were finishing their grocery shopping at Sabor Tropical Supermarket, according to Fox affiliate WOFL. Journee Nelson being honored for her actions. Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook Girl Who Fought Off Knife-Wielding Kidnapper Smeared Blue Slime on Him to Help Cops ID Attacker Footage obtained by WOFL shows the pair approaching their car with groceries when a man in a gray hoodie suddenly walks over and begins attacking Mobley for her purse. Mobley attempted to fight off the man, who reportedly told her to let go of the purse or "you're going to make me pop you" while reaching for his waistband, WOFL reported. "We struggled over the purse. He pushed me down to the ground," Mobley recalled to WSVN of the parking lot incident. "That is when I let it go and figured he would take off." Journee Nelson being honored by the police department. Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook Subway Employee Fights Off Armed Robber, But Says She's Suspended for Sharing Footage of Attack Just as Mobley let go of her bag, Journee came to her mom's rescue and began hitting the suspect before chasing him for five blocks, according to WSVN. Bystanders also rushed to the area to help the mother-daughter duo fight him off, as shown in the footage. Two days later, the suspect — identified as Demetrius Jackson, per WSVN and WOFL — was caught by police and arrested. He's since been charged with robbery and battery, according to the outlets. It is unclear if Jackson has retained legal representation. The West Palm Beach Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. Journee Nelson outside the police department. Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook Missouri Girl, 6, Saves Mom After She Passes Out from Heat Stroke by Calling Her Grandma for Help In the days following the incident, the West Palm Beach Police Department and Mobley commended Journee for her heroic efforts. "I'm very proud of her that was her initial reaction," Mobley told WSVN, adding, "I wish, sometimes, things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally." On Thursday, Journee was honored by the West Palm Beach Police Foundation with a medal and certificate, according to a post on the WPBPD's Facebook. RELATED VIDEO: 5-Year-Old Boy Saves His 2-Year-Old Brother from Fiery Accident "Chief Adderley honored a 9-year old child today for bravery as she ran to her mother's defense to fend off a brazen robber," the post read. "The West Palm Beach Police Foundation presented the child with a token of appreciation." The post also featured photos from the big day, including one shot of the girl on the police motorcycle and another that showed her smiling with her new medal and certificate. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday. Journee Nelson being honored by the police department. Palm Beach Police Department/Facebook Speaking to WSVN, Chief Frank Adderley said of the incident: "I wouldn't recommend that you confront an individual like that but in the heat of the moment things happen." "I bet he was shocked when she kicked him right in the face because he definitely could tell on the video that he was not expecting that," he added. "Her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation, and I think she hit him pretty hard."