11-year-old Presley Brown was playing on her phone when she said a man popped out from between her clothes.
“I started screaming bloody murder, and he said 'Don't be scared, little girl' and I just started running,” Presley told KFOR.
“We hear her scream,” said Monica Brown, her mother. “We come flying around the corner. We meet her in the hallway. She's literally, she's just crying.” It was a frightening call for help from their little girl.
“At that point, he was kind of peeping around, and my husband grabbed him,” Monica said. A scuffle between Presley’s dad and the suspect ensued.
“I was running outside screaming, crying, saying 'Help, help' and, so, I just ran over to the neighbor’s house and she called 911,” Presley said.
Before officers got there, the man took off.
“I saw him running, and he jumped over our fence,” Presley recalled. Eventually, police caught up with 26-year-old Race Cox. Cox was wanted on at least one felony warrant.
Presley said he not only got away with $100 of her birthday money but her sense of security, too.
“Every time I come in my closet or my room or my bathroom, anywhere, I just think about it and like I remember how scary it was,” Presley said.
It was a terrifying and eye-opening encounter.
“He could have put his hand over her mouth. Who knows, who knows what could have happened, but now it just makes us a lot more aware,” Monica said.
The family’s home is still under construction. A worker told the Browns someone ran through their home earlier in the day. They searched the house but never found anyone.
Cox is in the Carter County Jail on a $40,000 bond.