She’s just 13, but when Marisa Martinez saw a man trying to kidnap a little boy, she sprang into action and fought him off.
Marisa was playing basketball with two other kids when John Jenkins, a registered sex offender, swooped in and tried grabbing an 8-year-old from the driveway where they were hanging out, FOX40 reports. The Modesto, Calif., teen was understandably frightened, but she pulled on the kidnapper, yelled for her mom and eventually got a hold of the child.
"I was really scared," Marisa told KCRA 3. "(But) my instinct was to go and help him."
The brave teen’s quick thinking could've been the difference between life and death.
While the murder of an abducted child is rare, a 2006 study concluded that 76.2 percent of kidnapped children who are killed are dead within three hours of the abduction, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Marisa now belongs to a select group of courageous teens who risked their lives for someone else’s.
When James Persyn III was home alone with his younger siblings in January, he heard a distraught woman banging on the door, USA Today reports. The Michigan teen could’ve ignored her pleas, but he let the woman who had been raped into their home, locked the doors and hid everyone together in an upstairs bathroom.
The attacker tried breaking into the house and nearly set it on fire. But the authorities arrived in time to get everyone out safely.
"We try to remind them that even though it was a lot, they saved somebody's life," Tiffany Ramon, James’ dad’s fiancée, told the paper.