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Omaha man stops would-be teen robber that...

Posted at 5:06 PM, Mar 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-24 18:21:05-04

An armed robbery Wednesday night, forces a man to make a decision when protecting his girlfriend and one and a half year old son.  One of the victims finds the opportunity to take down the suspect, but what happens after that made the victim have second thoughts about what he did.

At about 9:30pm Wednesday night, a would-be robber approaches two women on their porch near 53rd & Spaulding St.  Police say the suspect showed a rifle and demanded they turn over their car keys.  The woman's boyfriend, William Hollis Jr., came out to see the suspect pointing a rifle at his girlfriend.

Hollis says he complied with the man but found an opening to make a move.  He says he grabbed him by the throat, got him on the ground, and pinned him down with a baseball bat until police arrived.

"I had a baseball bat by the door, I saw the opportunity, he looked away and I just rushed him off the porch, gun fell out of his hand, and I held him down with a baseball bat,” Hollis described. “No time to think, you just react I suppose."
Police arrive minutes later.

Turns out the suspect is just 15-years-old.  Police book him at the Douglas County Youth Center for 6 felonies including Robbery, Attempted Robbery, and Use of a Weapon to Commit a Felony.

Everything wasn't so cut and dry for Hollis.  He says he had a conversation with the teen while holding him down, a conversation shocked him even after what he'd just been through.

"I asked him why are you doing this. And he told me he was homeless, had been kicked out of his house, was hungry and had nowhere to go, and I said why didn't you ask somebody for help? There are plenty of willing to help, there are plenty of people all over this town willing to help people,” Hollis explained.  "I thought about letting him go while the cops were on their way."

Hollis says the teen told him he got the rifle from the streets.  He says he's always helped out kids around the neighborhood when they're in need, he just wishes they could've helped the teen who tried to rob him before it got to that point.

“We all know it's 12, 13, 14, and 15-year-olds committing all these crimes now and the adults are to blame,” Hollis noted. "We're not taking care of our kids; it takes a community to raise a child.  It's upsetting."

The teen has not been identified and his mug shot hasn't been released because he is a juvenile.

If the teen goes through juvenile court he would likely have the chance to be rehabilitated or sent to a group home instead of going to prison.