The 8-year-old boy in the backseat of a car at Atrium Medical Center at first thought the man might have been a valet at the hospital because he got into the front seat of the running car.
But in the next few moments, Chance Blue of Middletown would take actions that would lead Middletown police Chief Rodney Muterspaw to call him “a hero.”
On April 25, Dalvir Singh, 24, of Middletown allegedly entered the car in which Chance and his 10-year-old sister, Skylar Weaver, sat. Their grandmother had gotten out of the car to help their aunt into the hospital.
According to police, Chance helped his sister escape the car as Singh tried to drive away with them in it. Their grandmother, meanwhile, was dragged on the other side while trying to stop Singh, police said.
“This little guy is a hero,” Muterspaw said. “No question. He pulled his sister out of the car with no concern for his own safety. That is incredible at his age and outstanding work by Officers (Connor) Kirby and (P.R.) Engleka to find the suspect and take him down without incident. So proud of their work,” Muterspaw posted on the police Facebook page.
“My grandma and aunt taught us to do what we did,” Chance said.
He said it was “scary” after seeing the man wasn’t trying to park the car but was instead trying to steal it.
Chance said he initially thought the man was a valet at the hospital. His sister said she thought the man looked like a homeless person or someone waiting for a bus.
“I think about what could have happened if I hadn’t been there,” Chance said. “I didn’t want my sister to get hurt because I love her.”
His sister said she’s been scared at night since the incident.
“I can still see him getting into the car and my grandma getting dragged,” Skylar said.
“It was traumatic for me because I saw my grandma getting hurt and the guy was trying to take me.”
Their grandmother, Nita Coburn, 69, said Chance and Skylar “love each other and look out for each other.”
“I’m just glad it’s over,” Coburn said.
She received minor injuries after being dragged during the incident. She said she did not realize the car locks did not lock if the key was still in the ignition.
Since the incident, Coburn said she has tried not to think about what happened, but admitted she has.
“I’m in awe of what happened,” she said. “I believe these things can happen but I can’t believe it would happen to me.”
Coburn said she has talked to her grandchildren about being aware of their surroundings at all times. She also said they have a rule that the grandchildren need to be in sight of each other.
She described the incident as “horrible,” adding, “it’s the most horrifying feeling in the world and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone in the world.”
Coburn praised Kirby, Engleka and Atrium’s security officers. She was also happy to learn that Kirby patrols her neighborhood. Since the incident, Kirby has checked in with the family, Coburn said.
The children, who are students at Miller Ridge Elementary, will be enrolling next fall at Middletown Christian School, Coburn said. Chance, a second-grader, said he wants to be a firefighter, while his sister Skylar, a fourth-graders said she wants to be a pastor.
The incident has caught the attention of the local and national media and at the Statehouse.
State Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp. said he and Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, are planning to invite both children to the Statehouse to be commended on the Senate floor.
“Heroes are those who place themselves at risk in order to protect others. Senator (Steve) Wilson (R-Maineville) and I are so happy to know that we have heroes with us right here at home,” Coley said.
Muterspaw also said the Division of Police will be recognizing Blue’s quick action to save himself and his sister and a special event is being planned for both children.
Singh, 24, of Middletown, was charged with two counts of kidnapping, a second-degree felony; grand theft, a fourth-degree felony; assault, a fist-degree misdemeanor; and misdemeanor charge for no operator’s license. He was scheduled to appear at 1:30 p.m. Friday for a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court. Singh was being held in the Middletown City Jail under a $200,000 bond.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to exclusive deals and newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.