11-year-old hero attacks kidnapping suspect; protects younger sister

Published On: Nov 26 2011 05:58:56 AM HST
Updated On: Nov 26 2011 10:29:08 PM HST

A young boy fended off a suspected car thief and kidnapper with his bare hands to save his younger sister.

HONOLULU -

Jay Yano didn't have the day after Thanksgiving off, so he planned to take his two young children to work with him. As his kids loaded into his truck, parked right outside their McCully home, Yano left the vehicle running as he quickly walked to the truck's rear.

?That?s when I noticed the guy walking from across the street, coming over,? said Jay Yano.

Yano said within a split second, his truck began to pull forward, with his 9-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son inside. He ran to the driver's side door.

?(When) I opened the car (door), I saw my son holding the guy down with his left hand,? said Yano.

?I just grabbed his shoulder and started punching his face, telling him to get out of the truck,? said Jonah Yano.

Jonah Yano said he wasn't scared -- his younger sister was in trouble and he needed to help her. Despite being much smaller than the 35-year-old man, Jonah gave his father enough time to pull the suspect out of the truck.

?If my son didn't jump in, he would have just taken off with her down the street,? said Jonah Yano.

Jay Yano said that after ensuring the children were safe with a neighbor, he ran after the man who had fled. He caught up with him a couple blocks away, and he held him down until police arrived

Brooklyn Yano said that she knows she'll always have a big brother looking out for her. Jonah joked little sis owes him.

?I thanked him and I hugged him,? said Brooklyn.

Jonah Yano's parents said their son's years of jiu-jitsu practice came in handy but beyond that, it was a brotherly love, which can't be taught.

?I?m proud of him,? said Jay Yano.

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