A "very tough" 11-year-old boy fought off a trio of home invaders with a machete, police said.
After breaking into his home in North Carolina, the raiders forced the youngster into a closet, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
A woman had knocked on the door as a man allegedly broke in through a nearby window and grabbed the homeowner’s pellet gun before they struck, it added.
At this point the youth hit back.
“The juvenile, who is a star baseball player on several area teams, left the closet and was able to gain access to a machete,” the sheriff’s office said. “He entered the living room behind the intruder, swung the machete, and struck the man in the back of the head.”
The intruder then kicked the boy in the side of his head and his stomach, but fled with his group after noticing that he was bleeding.
“Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said.
“This is [a] very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” he added. “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.”
Officers later arrested 19-year-old Jataveon Dashawn Hall, who reportedly remains in hospital with the injuries he sustained.
Mr Hall will reportedly faces a range of charges upon his release from hospital, including kidnapping.