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Machete-wielding boy helps authorities find Mebane home invasion suspect

An 11-year-old was forced into a bedroom closet at gunpoint by a home intruder. He then escaped, found a machete and attacked back.

Posted Updated

Deborah Strange
, WRAL digital journalist
MEBANE, N.C. — A Mebane 11-year-old who was home alone Friday used a machete to thwart a home invasion and help deputies make an arrest, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.

Around 11 a.m., as a woman knocked on the door of the home, off Yarborough Road, a man broke into the home through a window, authorities said. The boy told deputies that another man was outside near a car.

The intruder took a pellet rifle that belonged to the homeowner and forced the boy in a bedroom closet. The man then went into the living room and stole a cellphone, authorities said.

The boy, whom the sheriff’s office called “a star baseball player on several area teams,” got out of the closet, grabbed a machete and swung it at the intruder, hitting him in the back of the head, authorities said.

A fight ensued: The man kicked the boy in the stomach, and the boy swung the machete again but missed. The man then kicked the boy in the head and tried to take a TV and a PlayStation.

But he realized he was bleeding from the machete blow and dropped the electronics. He, the woman and the other man then fled the area.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call and alerted hospitals to be on the lookout for someone with a laceration to the head.

Later Friday, a man arrived at the emergency department at UNC Hospital in Hillsborough with a head injury. He matched the description of the intruder that the boy gave to authorities.

“Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case,” Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement. “This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him. At the same time, I want to reflect that this youngster, his family, and indeed this community, are very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child.”

Arrest warrants were issued for Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, of Monroe. Charges include breaking and entering, kidnapping, assault on a child younger than 12 and interfering with emergency communications.

Hall was at the hospital Friday afternoon and will be served with the warrants upon his release.

Anyone with any information about the incident can call lead investigator Jason Nazworth at 919-245-2925.