(Photo: Screen Grab via YouTube/LancasterOnline)
A Pennsylvania teenager's dogged pursuit of a car driven by an "older white man" with a missing five-year-old girl inside forced the man to release the girl and flee last Thursday after he realized he had been caught by the high school freshman.
Thanks to the courage of 15-year-old Temar Boggs and his friend, Chris Garcia, Manheim Township police say they are now looking for a man who escaped after assaulting the girl.
The suspect is between the ages of 50 and 70, may have a disability and walks with a limp according to a Lancaster Online report.
In an interview with Lancaster Online published on Sunday, Boggs, a freshman at J.P. McCaskey High School, said he had a feeling he would have found the girl.
He explained that he was helping a friend move a couch on Thursday when they were approached by a man who asked them if they had seen the little girl.
When then realized that a team of police officers was involved in a large scale search for the missing girl, Boggs and about six of his friends decided to join the hunt and do some searching of their own.
"We got all of our friends to go look for her. We made our own little search party," said Boggs, who didn't know the girl's family at the time.
"I had the gut feeling that I was going to find the little girl," he noted when he saw the extent of the crowd that had started fanning across the neighborhood in search of the girl.
A friend had asked him to hold his bicycle for him but Boggs decided it could be more useful in the search and so he teamed up with Chris Garcia and began riding around the neighborhood checking different streets in search of the girl.
He had gone ahead of his friend for a bit when he noticed a maroon-colored car that appeared to be avoiding a group of police involved in the search. He then noticed the car weaving in and out of different streets in the community filled with cul-de-sacs.
With Garcia nearby, Boggs got close enough to the car to see the little girl inside. When the driver realized he had been caught, he pushed the girl out of the car and fled off.
"She runs to my arms and said, 'I need to see my mommy,' " Boggs said of the little girl. He then tried riding the bicycle with the girl on his neck to safety but when he realized it wouldn't work he decided to carry her instead and deliver her to local authorities.
"She didn't want to leave me because she thought they were going to do something to her. I said, 'No, it's OK,'" he said.
Police later noted that the girl's abductor took her for ice cream, and that there were signs of an assault.
Last Thursday, Boggs said he met the girl's family and they called him "a hero" and "a guardian angel" for finding their daughter but he doesn't see himself that way.
"I'm just a normal person who did a thing that anybody else would do," he said. "It was like fate, it was like meant for me and Chris to be there. If we wouldn't have left (to look for the girl) who knows what would have happened to the little girl," he added.
He, however, woke up the night he found the girl and thought that he may have saved her life.
"It was a blessing for me to make that happen," he said.