James Persyn III was at home on a chilly Michigan evening, babysitting his two younger siblings as his father ran out to pick up his fiancee from work. His father was only to be gone for a few minutes, nothing out of the ordinary. That is, until the children heard someone banging on their front door and woman screaming, begging to be let into the house. James opened the door and a young woman rushed in. She told him that someone had kidnapped her and was trying to kill her, they needed to lock the doors.
James secured the door, gathered everyone and herded them into the bathtub. He had remembered his father saying that the bathroom was the safest place in the house, as it had no windows. Once they were in there, he had his sister call 911 while he grabbed his hunting knife. James called his father to tell him what was happening at the home. The elder James had just made it to his fiancee’s work, but when he heard what was happening at home he turned right around.
Meanwhile, the woman’s attacker was at the front door of the home, pounding and trying to get in. Then, it was quiet. What they didn’t know inside the home was that her attacker had poured gas around the home and lit a match to ignite it. Luckily elder James got home in time to put the fire out before it did any damage. The attacker had taken off by then. The police arrived to take the battered woman to the hospital, and to commend young James for keeping his cool under pressure.
The woman’s attacker was eventually located, and died in a shootout with police. The woman had been abducted as she was on her was to her car after class at the Central Michigan University. Her attacker took her to a home where she was sexually assaulted. He then brought her back in car, telling her he was taking her somewhere to kill her. That’s when she took a chance and jumped out of the car. The jump caused her to fracture her arm, but it may have saved her life. She saw the Persyn home and James saved her life.
Young James was honored by the local county commission with a life saving award for his actions.