9-Year-Old Girl Saves Mom From Attacker, Earns Police Award: 'She Hit Him Pretty Hard'

A 9-year-old girl in Florida is being lauded for her bravery after fighting off a man who attacked her mother.

Surveillance footage obtained by WPTV, a south Florida station, showed Journee Nelson and her mother Danielle Mobley loading groceries into her car at a West Palm Beach supermarket on November 2 when 29-year-old Demetrius Jackson ran up and attacked Mobley.

He appeared to knock her to the ground, where a struggle for the purse ensued, as seen in the video.

But the young girl ran out of the car's passenger seat and fought back, punching him several times.

"She actually jumped up and chased him four houses down the block with me chasing her, calling her back," Mobley said during a press conference Thursday.

Ultimately, the attacker was able to get away with the purse, which contained a cell phone, bank cards, cash, her wallet and her concealed carry permit, according to the Miami Herald.

Police tracked down the phone to an abandoned home, where Mobley's belongings were found, according to WPTV. They collected fingerprint evidence that allegedly connected Jackson to the incident.

He was arrested two days later after Mobley and her daughters were asked to identify him from a photographic lineup. He faces battery and robbery charges, according to WPTV.

Mobley offered tempered praise for her daughter's actions.

"I'm very proud of her, that was her initial reaction," Mobley told WSVN-TV. "I wish sometimes, things could be a little different because she is still dealing with this mentally."

Nelson told the station she first thought Jackson was running from the store, but soon realized he was running toward her mom.

She told WSVN: "I fought back. I had to save my mom."

On Thursday, West Palm Beach police held a press conference to recognize Nelson for her bravery. She was rewarded with a medal, certificate and a Target gift card, the Herald reported.

"I wouldn't recommend that you confront an individual like that, but in the heat of the moment things happen," said local police chief Frank Adderly, according to the Herald.

Still, he said her actions led to a "positive outcome."

"I bet he was shocked when she hit him right in his face, because you can definitely tell on the videotape that he was not expecting that and her actions were perfect timing in this particular situation and I think she hit him pretty hard," he said.

Mobley said her daughter goes back and forth between wanting to be either a police officer or teacher when she grows up, according to the Herald.

Police recognized 9-year-old fighting off thief
Florida police honored a 9-year-old for her bravery in fighting off her mom's attacker on Thursday. Above, a police car is seen in Sunrise, Florida, on February 2. CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images