A 13-year-old boy uses a gadget costing his mother about $3 to thwart a kidnapper.

When Owen Burns got home from school one typical day, he heard his sister yelling. He didn’t take her cries for aid seriously and was disturbed by their intrusion.

But when he peeked out his window, he was startled but immediately composed himself enough to make a choice that would save his life.


Owen Burns had just gotten comfortable on the couch with his PlayStation 3 and his copy of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” when he heard his sister yelling from outside. The tween, who was just 13, became angry because she felt she was playing around.

The adolescent peered out the window and saw an unknown man attempting to pull his sister, then aged eight, into the woods that bordered their property.

The scared young man reached for his catapault and gathered the only weapons he could locate quickly—a stone and a rock. He aimed for the kidnapper’s eyes and struck him dead centre.

He struck him in the chest the second time. He was using profanity. Owen said to the media, “He was cursing.”

The police went looking for this guy’s jumper again today and discovered it was a fake one he tossed in.

Published on Thursday, May 11th, 2023 by Maggie Kay Burns.

It was daytime when the incident occurred at the Burns’ house in Alpena Township, Michigan. According to their mother Maggie Burns, kidnappings in the region are quite rare.

His younger sister, at 8 years old, survived the encounter, albeit she was likely traumatised by what she saw. The Michigan State Police did not reveal the identity of the kidnapper, but they did clarify that the suspect, who was 17 at the time, would be tried as an adult.

Lt. John Grimshaw, describing Owen’s efforts as “extraordinary,” stated during a press conference, “He really is the one that… I believe saved his sister’s either life or from something seriously bad happening to her.” The small boy’s bravery cannot be overstated.


He went on to say that the young guy deserved praise for his initiatives.

The teen’s catapault wasn’t anything special. His mum got it on sale for three dollars. The adolescent supposedly honed his shooting skills by practising on empty orange juice containers in his backyard.

When the kidnapper tried to take the adolescent’s sister, the youngster claimed he instantly felt the kidnapper would either use his sister as a sex slave or murder her.

According to Grimshaw, the kidnapper “came from behind her, grabbed her like you see in the movies — hand over the mouth, arm around the waist and was attempting to pull her into the woods.”


At that point, Owen pulled out his catapault and fired a shot in his direction. After his sister broke free of the kidnapper’s grip, she went sobbing inside the house to inform her brother that she had almost lost her life. Fuming, Owen stormed outside to confront the abductor. He swung and missed with a baseball. He tried again with the catapault, but this time the rubber split, rendering it useless.

The kids got in touch with their mum, who had stopped by a relative’s house on her way home from work to provide a hand. She overheard the phrase “kidnapper” through her children’s ramblings and frantic phone calls, prompting her to return home and contact the authorities.

“I was in shock for a few days,” Maggie said.

The 17-year-old kidnapper was tracked down at a petrol station. In Alpena County District Court, he faced charges of abduction, attempted criminal assault, and assault and battery.


“He had obvious signs of an injury consistent with those that would have been sustained from the slingshot strikes to his head and chest,” the police stated in a news statement.

Maggie expressed doubt that his son had successfully struck the abductor in the forehead and torso from 200 feet away. The police, however, validated the account by claiming the suspect’s marble-induced goose egg on his forehead grew in size over the course of their interrogation.

The speaker exclaims, “You said I always lie!” What Owen told his mum.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” she said. It didn’t seem plausible until there was concrete evidence. Sounds like something out of a movie, right?

The adolescent informed her mother that “stuff in the movies can and do happen in real life.” This kid is a hero, that much is obvious.

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