FOUNTAIN — 12-year-old Arturo Hernandez III is being hailed a hero.
“I had no idea this was coming until they described what happened. I didn’t even know the school knew about it,” Hernandez said.
El Paso Teller County 911 Authority recognizes kids in high school and younger for helping someone in danger.
Hernandez’s award was different, he was the first child to be recognized for texting 911 for help after an intruder broke into his home.
“I normally keep my bathroom light on; my mom checked the bathroom and she saw someone’s shadow, and he popped out of the bathroom, and my mom backed away to the wall and she started screaming. And that’s what woke me up and then I saw someone and I started screaming,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said his mom led the intruder away from him and his brother.
“My mom took a quick glance at me and mouthed out, ‘call the police,'” Hernandez said, adding it was a scary situation.
“I thought about calling the police, but I thought he might hear me. So, I started texting the police instead,” Hernandez said.
In the end, police say no one was hurt, and the intruder was arrested.
El Paso Teller County 911 Authority says texting 911 has been available since 2016, but dispatchers aren’t able to get your exact location from a text.
Hernandez couldn’t remember his exact house address, but he was able to give dispatchers other information.
“Any other extra details you can give in a 911 emergency: color of the house, car out in the front, what color it is and what kind it is. Those will all help us get to you faster,” said Ben Bills, public information officer for El Paso Teller County 911 Authority.
Police say this serves as a reminder for all parents to teach their kids, no matter how young, home identifying information in case of an emergency.
“Show them the street sign, so they can practice you know, reading the street sign or reading their full address. Also, make sure that they know if they see those street signs, they can also spell them to us,” Bills said.