TARRANT, AL (WBRC) - An 11-year old Tarrant boy is being praised for his cool head and quick thinking under pressure, after an armed man broke into his family's home Tuesday morning.
Christopher Rian McGhee, 26, was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, third-degree possession of burglary tools, unlawful possession of marijuana and illegal possession of a credit/debit card.
"He held the gun on the children and was holding them at gunpoint and forced them to go into the bathroom," said Tarrant Police Chief Dennis Reno.
The boy and his younger sister were by themselves.
What the alleged crook didn't know and probably didn't expect was the young man grabbed a nearby cell phone.
"I don't know if me or you would have known to try and sneak a phone," said Reno.
While the man burglarized their home, the children called 911.
However, there was another problem. The child didn't speak English very well.
"As luck would have it there was a lady outside our dispatch office that spoke Spanish that was here. And our dispatcher went and got her," said Reno.
The woman translated, telling the children to get in the bathtub as an officer approached the house.
"He had seen this guy standing in the house with a gun and he kicked the door by himself," said Reno.
The officer and detective rescued the children before eventually capturing the man.
In this situation, everything went right when it very easily could have gone wrong.
"This guy breaks in their house. Breaks down their door. Goes into the house. Holds them at gunpoint. For him to be calm enough to grab that cell phone, take it into the bathroom, was quite astonishing," said Reno.