VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Dramatic moments were caught on camera as a local deputy saved a 13-year-old girl from an alleged predator. The deputy found the girl in a motel room with a 22-year-old man.
"Front office. Anybody inside? We need to come in for a second."
Body cam shows the moment Deputy Royce James walked into the right motel room at the right time, saving a 13-year-old girl from a man she met online. This is a man who she later told the deputy she had met before.
"What’s up, sweetheart? Sheriff’s office. Get up here."
"The first time was just meeting in a park. Nothing occurred. She assumed the sleepover was going to be the same thing," Deputy Royce James told FOX 35.
The girl’s grandmother reported her missing Thursday when she never came home from school or went to her basketball game after school. Volusia County Deputy James talked to the girl’s best friend, who said the victim was meeting a man from Orlando whose name started with a "T," maybe "Tyler."
Deputy James found surveillance footage of the girl at a Dollar General, where she was supposed to meet the man. He then checked nearby motels.
"I’m wondering if a juvenile and another person checked in here earlier today," he can be heard saying on the body cam footage.
The third one was the charm: The All-Suite Motel in Edgewater.
"Oh, where’s this guy? I think this is him."
"As soon as she heard her name being uttered, she looked from the bedroom, noticed it was a deputy and came running into my arms. Her body language told me that she’s literally being saved or rescued," Deputy James told FOX 35.
"Just wait here for me sweetheart. Are you OK? Do you need any? Are you hurt at all? You’re not hurt at all? Your stomach hurts? OK, we’re going to be right with you, OK?" the deputy asked in the body cam video.
As for Tyler Thompson of Orlando, the 22-year-old was arrested.
"How old are you? If I ask you that question again, I’m going to lose my mind. How old are you?’
For Deputy James, a father of girls, the night turned emotional.
"The father in me came out. I was very angry. I was grateful to have found her, but I’m still very angry that this whole situation is even occurring. She almost imprinted on me. She would not leave my side throughout the whole time."
The deputy says he’s no hero. He was just doing his job.