Young boy calls 911, survives home invasion
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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- An 11-year-old boy's 911 call when three men broke into his home resulted in the arrest of the alleged perpetrators Friday morning.
The Miami Beach resident said that he was just doing what his mother taught him to do in case of a break-in: hide and call 911. "I was scared to death, I was just thinking [to myself], 'I hope they don't catch me, please don't [let them] find me,'" said Lee, the young boy whose quick thinking saved the day.
After seeing three men breaking the glass in the front door, Lee immediately dialed 911.
911 operator: "911, what is your emergency?"
Lee: "Hi, I'm in Miami Beach, Florida. Someone tried to break into my house, please hurry."
911 operator: "OK, I need your phone number."
Lee: "They're breaking the door, please hurry."
911 operator: "OK, are you there?"
Lee: "Yes, I'm home. I'm home alone, please hurry."
The boy then hid behind a closet door while the alleged robbers ransacked his home, located on the 3200 block of Chase Avenue in Miami Beach. "I was in the closet, and then one of them was right in front of me trying to look around, but they didn't see me," Lee said.
Police arrived moments later, catching the getaway driver in his white Dodge Charger in the driveway. The two others took off running and were apprehended blocks away.
Lee then called his mother, Leticia, who was out exercising in the Miami Beach boardwalk. She called 911 as well, not realizing the alleged robbers had been captured.
Leticia: "Yes, please, can you...dispatch the police to my house?"
911 operator: "Hold on one second."
Leticia: "I just had a break-in, and my son is there.
911 operator: "Hold on one second, ma'am. We have police there. Your son called us already."
Miami Beach Police Sergeant Bobby Hernandez credited Lee for taking the three crooks off the streets. "When the officers actually made entry into the house, they located him in the closet," said Officer Bobby Hernandez.
"When they opened the closet door, he was trembling, he was so scared, but he was still brave enough to stay on the phone [with the 911 operator]," Hernandez continued. The officer added that Lee's "first priority" following the incident "was finding Lola, his dog."
Leticia said she'd always taught her son to run and hide when anyone broke into their home. She is still thankful her advice paid off. "I'm so proud of him," she said, "I'm so thankful to Jesus that he's alive."
Now in police custody, the alleged thieves, Willie Cuyler, Lance Riley and Terrance Young, are facing multiple charges.