Temar Boggs is a 15-year-old student from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He enjoys participating in sports, socialising with friends, skateboarding, and biking. Include being a hero on the list.
On July 11, Temar had a typical summer day: he helped a neighbour move her couch, and then he hung out with his friends. But when Temar and his friend Chris Garcia learned that a five-year-old girl from their neighbourhood had been abducted, they immediately took action. After locating and pursuing the kidnapper, they were able to rescue five-year-old Jocelyn Rojas and return her safely to her parents.
Boggs is this week’s Foot Soldier of the Week for his valour. This week, I discussed his extraordinary actions with him.
How did all of this occur?
After learning of her abduction, we formed a small search party comprised of all of our friends and went to look for her, to locate her.
We searched for approximately half an hour to forty-five minutes in the area where she may have gone missing, but we were unable to locate her, so we returned. The entire block was filled with firefighters, police officers, newscasters, etc.
Consequently, everyone in the group was dispersed everywhere. People were inside their dwellings. One of my friends was at their homes; the majority of my friends were conversing with others and doing other things. And I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was going to find the little girl as I cycled up a long stretch.
And Chris followed me in that direction, and from there we saw a suspicious car, and when we looked in the passenger seat, there was the child. We pursued the animal for ten to fifteen minutes before he apparently became frightened and released her in the corner.
I picked her up, or rather, she ran to me and told me she needed her mother, and I rode her back home. Because the manner in which I had her was dangerous, I carried her halfway back home.
What about the car was suspicious, what caught your attention?
I wouldn’t call them streets because they were more like small cul-de-sacs, but they would eventually branch off into another street. Therefore, he was refusing those.
Therefore, up the hill where I was pursuing him… He saw what appeared to be a police car, turned around, and descended the hill. And that made the situation slightly more suspicious. Then I looked in the passenger seat and saw the child sitting there.
And when you first saw her, did you feel fear? Did you recognise her? What was your thought process?
I wasn’t afraid; all I could think was, “Save the little girl and make sure she’s okay.”
So you arrived, returned her, and gave her to the police first? Or did you immediately introduce her to the family?
I drove her to… I believe that it was a firefighter.
And you eventually met her family. How did that feel?
It was truly heartwarming how much they cared for me.
How do you feel about rescuing that woman?
It was simply from the heart. It had nothing to do with attracting attention. It was simply to assist a member of the community, to ensure another child’s safety and the possibility of her future.
And how does your friend Chris feel about it?
He feels similarly. He did so out of the goodness of his heart, not in exchange for anything.
Boggs pled guilty in June 2016 to the armed robbery of El Coqui Market in Lancaster city in December 2015.
For the robbery, he is currently serving a sentence of between 40 months and 10 years at the State Correctional Institution Dallas in Luzerne County.