HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Hiding under his bed, and struggling to keep his dog from barking, an 11-year-old Hollywood boy helped police catch three intruders who ransacked his family's home.
Luis Gutierrez said Friday he was watching television in the living room when he saw a hammer smash the kitchen window. His parents had just left to nearby Pollo Tropical to get dinner. Luis opted to stay.
Luis recalled grabbing his dog Cookie, a cellphone and rushing to hide in a tiny compartment under his bed.
"Are the cops here yet?" the frighten boy is heard asking a 911 operator during a call that lasted about nine minutes.
"Be quiet, OK? Talk very softly," the dispatcher answered.
Speaking in whispers, Luis guided police to his window where he was eventually rescued. Three juvenile burglars were later arrested at the house.
"For an 11-year-old, you can hear he was scared but remained calm. You can tell he practiced with his parents," said police spokesman Sgt. Pablo Venegas. "The quick-thinking and smart actions of the child and the rapid response of the officers led to a successful outcome in this incident."
The incident took place shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday at the family's house on the 4900 block of Johnson Street.
Luis said he was watching Disney's Lab Rats children's show when the three teens began breaking into the house. The boy first called his dad, who instructed him to call 911.
"We were only a few minutes away. The drive to the house seemed like we were driving to Orlando," said the dad, Luis Fernando on Friday.
The operator at first wondered if the call was a joke.
"It's real! It's real," the boy is heard whispering.
Luis said he held the phone with one hand and held his Shih-Tzu's mouth shut. The dog bit him a few times.
The three juveniles ransacked one of the bedrooms, unaware the child was in the house and that the police were outside. At one point the child believed someone was coming to the bedroom door.
"He's coming! Luis whispers in a frightened tone. "Can you please come!"
The emergency call ends after the boy tells the operator that he sees the police outside his window.
Police said the three teens were arrested without incident. Police believe the teens were searching for jewelry. They were charged with burglary of an occupied home, grand theft, and the possession of burglary tools.
On Friday, the Sheridan Park Elementary student said he was still feeling a bit scared and vowed never to stay home alone again.
"I am still in shock," Luis said. "I am just glad they never came into my room."
Police on Friday said the incident illustrates the importance of teaching children how to react during an emergency.
"It's important to practice and have a plan," Venegas said. "This was an example of how things can go right if you have a plan."
Copyright © 2012, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
One person will win a three-year lease on a 2013 Honda Civic Lx Sedan automatic.
Click to see the latest mugshots, plus this week's wanted fugitives.
This feature packed upgrade brings you faster performance, easier navigation, and stunning improvements to photos, video and readability.
Latest News Stories
Donations may be falling short as thousands of graves could go without a wreath decorating their headstones ahead of the holidays in Arlington National Cemetery.