HIALEAH (CBS4) – A Miami-Dade teen who called police after seeing two men break into a neighbor’s home was honored Tuesday.
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus awarded 13-year Leslie Officer a special commendation for his part in helping in the capture two burglars last February.
“You kept two guys from breaking into God only knows how many homes next door and putting who knows how many kids and adults in danger. What you did was truly heroic,” said Loftus as he shook Officer’s hand.
“If I didn’t call police they might be breaking into other people houses, so it would be better to stop them than to let them get inside other homes and hurt people,” said Officer.
“I am very proud. He’s a great kid. And I am very grateful. He called the police on time and otherwise I would have been robbed completely,” said Castillo.
According to police on February 19th, Eugenio Hernandez, 40, and Antonio Nieves,18, popped open the gated entrance of a home in the 31-hundred block of NW 95th Terrace and drove up the drive. Hernandez and Nieves then went up to the house which had two efficiency apartments attached to it.
Police said both men kicked in the front door, ran inside and stole approximately $300 in cash and jewelry. They then went around to the rear of the building and ripped a screen off a window of one of the apartments.
After getting inside through the window, the men at one point knocked a television to the floor. Officer, who was in the other apartment, heard the noise. When he looked out his window, police said he saw Nieves and Hernandez leaving the apartment through the window.
“I was scared. They were big people and I did not know what they were going to do to me,” said Officer who feared one thing. “That I’d get killed or something like that. I was scared,” he told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
Conquering his fear, at least momentarily, Officer grabbed a phone and dialed 911.
“I called 911 to say I was all alone inside the house and they should come over quick,” he recalled.
In that 911 tape released to CBS4, you hear Officer on his cell phone telling a dispatcher that one suspect was wearing “blue shorts and Nike shoes. They went inside the main house. They’re in the back next to mine. You’re tracking my home right cause for you to get the right address.”
To his shock, Officer said he saw Nieves and Hernandez move toward his apartment and try to open the door. Officer said ran and hid in the closet.
The first officer to arrive on the scene saw both Nieves and Hernandez walking to their car. He was able to take Hernandez into custody, but Nieves took off. Police set up a perimeter and officers found Nieves hiding in a backyard. Both men have been charged with burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief; Nieves was also charged with resisting arrest without violence.
Records show that Hernandez has an extensive arrest record for burglary, grand theft and cocaine possession.
As for his future, Officer said he’s going to leave the police work to the men in blue; he said he’d rather be a doctor or firefighter when he grows up.