11-Year-Old Boy Honored For Helping To Catch Thief

WESTWOOD (KDKA) — At only 11 years old, a local boy is being honored for his quick thinking and bravery.

He saw someone committing a crime, then didn’t stop until the suspect was in police custody.

Police said at the assembly Wednesday at Carmalt Academy, if you’re planning on breaking into cars, don’t do it in Pittsburgh, and especially not in Jackson Beatty’s neighborhood.

“It is my pleasure to present Jackson Beatty with the recognition of excellence award on behalf of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police,” Chief Scott Schubert of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police said at the assembly.

Standing in front of his friends and classmates, 11-year-old Jackson quietly accepted his award. The sixth grader at Carmalt Academy chased after a woman breaking into cars in his neighborhood a few weeks ago.

KDKA’s Heather Abraham: “Do you think that was brave, what you did?”
Jackson Beatty: “Yeah, ‘cause no one else on the street was home or anything.”

That Thursday evening in August, Jackson was riding his bike near his home when he spotted a woman he’d never seen before near a neighbor’s car, holding papers he didn’t think belonged to her. And he knew there had been several car break-ins. So he started yelling.

But it didn’t end there. KDKA caught up with his dad, Dave Beatty, back in their Westwood neighborhood. He explained the lengths his son went to.

“He rode his bike all around,” Beatty said. “He went up around into the alley way and brought her back down here, and that’s where the cop joined in on the chase.”

That off-duty officer is a neighbor and, along with Jackson’s mom, gave him some advice.

“’Don’t do that,’” Jackson said she told him. “’Don’t ever think of doing that. But you were brave.’”

But with Jackson’s help, 26-year-old Michelle Skoupil, of Crafton, was arrested and charged.

“It’s just outstanding heroic effort on his behalf,” said Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Commander Steve Vinansky, “and we’re very happy he’s so actively involved in his community.”

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