TODAY   |  October 19, 2013

Watch brave 8-year-old try to fight off thief

A young boy tried to foil a robber’s plans Thursday on his way to school, and the entire episode was caught on tape. NBC’s Veronica De La Cruz reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning an 8-year-old boy getting a lot of extra attention after taking on a man who tried to steal his mother's purse.

>> a wild story. veronica de la cruz is here to break it down for us this morning.

>> reporter: good morning. you are about to meet the remarkably brave 8-year-old boy in houston who didn't know to be afraid of the robber or he just didn't care. it all happened in just a few seconds.

>> shocking. scary. and sad.

>> reporter: early thursday morning, jose alonzo is on his way to school when his mom stops at this houston gas station . watch the surveillance video as jose 's mom steps out of the car and heads inside. keep your eye on the man with the red cap and white shirt . he sees his opportunity, reaches into jose 's car and grabs the mother's purse.

>> i blink my eyes and i see him open the car door really fast. i said just stay here and don't do anything.

>> reporter: the 8-year-old tried unsuccessful to hold on to the purse but then jumps out in hot pursuit of the suspect.

>> and he ran as fast as i can so i reached in and grab my mom's black wallet with her credit cards .

>> reporter: and you will this with one shoe on and one shoe off.

>> i was scared a little bit but i told myself, just -- just go with it.

>> police don't recommend anyone chasing after a robber, let alone an 8-year-old, but jose says he took the risk to help his family.

>> reporter: my sister's party was coming up and i wanted her to have her party and i wanted my mom to get all of her stuff back.

>> police say that the suspect is still at large this morning. i guess the moral of the story is don't mess with jose .

>> but we want to make sure people watching don't get the wrong idea. this is certainly not behavior.

>> he definitely got lucky. he is like clearly a sweet, sweet boy.

>> good news to report on for once. everything worked out.

>> everything did. i'm curious why the boy was in the car one shoe on and one shoe off? i guess at 8, he is not driving.

>> it's early in the morning . he is on the way to school and poor kid is still waking up.

>> that is an incredible story.