It's an incredible story that took an incredulous turn: An 11-year-old North Carolina boy went after a home intruder with a machete, wounding him in the head—but after being treated for his injury, the suspect escaped. ABC11 has the timeline, which began last week in Mebane. Braydon Smith was home alone when a woman knocked on the door. The Orange County Sheriff's Office says she called out that the house was empty; CNN reports Jataveon Dashawn Hall allegedly broke in through a window and forced Braydon into a closet using the homeowner's pellet gun. But Braydon escaped, took a machete off the wall, and inflicted a blow on the back of the intruder's head. A scuffle ensued until Hall allegedly realized he was injured, left, sought treatment at UNC Hospital in Hillsborough, and was moved to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill.
A slew of warrants were issued, including ones for breaking and entering and assault on a child younger than 12. The sheriff's office says it was supposed to be alerted when Hall was ready for discharge, but that didn't happen. UNC Health Care puts the responsibility for what happened next on the sheriff's office: A nurse found Hall's room empty around 8pm last Friday, and surveillance video captured him leaving the hospital in only his gown and socks. Braydon's mom was furious. "This guy that could have killed my child is on the loose," she told WTVD. He remained that way until 1pm Sunday, when ABC News reports Hall was arrested in Burlington. As for Braydon's bravery, he tells ABC11 he knew the pellet gun was unloaded and recalled advice his dad gave him after their home was broken into years earlier: "If they come in the door, you let 'em have it." (Read more machete stories.)