One evening, James Persyn III was babysitting his two younger siblings, Acelin, 11, and Angus, 2, in their Michigan home. Their father was a few miles away picking up his fiance from work when the frightening experience went down.
Suddenly, a woman began banging on their front door screaming, "Let me in! Let me in!"
James remembered his father telling him that in case of an emergency to get everyone in a bathroom since neither one of them had windows. James decided to open the door and found a visibly traumatized woman. Her face was full of bruises, and her body had packing tape wrapped around her. She also had a broken arm that she held close to her body.
“She’s like, ‘We gotta hide! There’s someone out there who just kidnapped me, and he’s trying to kill me,” James recalled the woman saying.
While his sister called the police, he told everyone to hide in the bathtub while he went to get his hunting knife. When he returned to the bathroom, he frantically called his dad, James Persyn Jr., about what was happening.
"There's a man outside the house, and you need to get home as soon as possible," Persyn recalls saying.
When he was on the phone with his dad, he heard a man banging on the front door. It was 30-year-old ex-convict, Eric Ramsey, who recently kidnapped the woman—a student at Central Michigan University. He was screaming, demanding that they open the door, but James kept quiet with his knife in hand.
Then he heard the worst that caused chills down his spine — silence.
During that silence, Ramsey was dousing the house with gasoline. He lit a match and threw it onto the house. Thankfully, Persyn arrived and was able to stomp out the fire before it engulfed the entire home with his kids inside.
Unbeknownst to Persyn, Ramsey took off. But since he left his house keys at work, he tried to break windows to get inside. He was yelling for his kids and for the intruder that he believed to be in the house. Finally, the police arrived, and the whole ordeal was over.
"My daughter was quite hysterical," Persyn said. "My son, you could tell he was upset and scared, but he handled it very well."
Paramedics also arrived on scene and took the woman to the hospital to care for her injuries. That night, the Persyn family was so shaken up that they slept on the living room floor together.
Ramsey was far from their house, but doing damage as he sped along the state highway fleeing from the police.
"Ramsey ends up swerving and hitting the Crawford County deputy head-on, doing extensive damage to the car and actually pinned the deputy for a little while," Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said.
What looked like he was going to ram the patrol car again, he stopped and found time to post on Facebook saying, "Well [folks I'm] about to get shot. Peace."
"The deputy was able to slither out and ended up firing some shots and ended up fatally killing Mr. Ramsey there at the scene," Mioduszewski said.
How the story began was when Ramsey approached the young lady on the street and forced her into the car. He took her to his house, taped her up with packaging tape where he then sexually assaulted the poor woman. He then proceeded to gather two gasoline containers and put them into his car, along with the woman.
"At one point, going down the road, he told her, basically, that he was going to kill her," Mioduszewski said. "So, fearing for her life, she ended up jumping out of the moving car. If [James hadn't] let her in, there's no doubt in my mind that Ramsey would have ended up killing her."
"We had never really thought about 'hero,'" Persyn said of his son. "I just kept telling him how proud I was of him."
What do you think about this young man? Do you think he's a hero? Share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page! In other news, an abandoned dog suffered horrific injuries after being attacked by a shovel. Check out his recovery story here! His new family is amazing!