6-year-old's bravery helps end crime spree

Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins and Beaumont Police Chief Jimmy Singletary

After at least six robberies in the Beaumont and Lumberton area, including one home invasion involving a mother and her three children, police have identified and detained those they believe responsible for the crime spree.

In a press conference Sunday, April 8, police said Scott Allen Willis Jr., a 21-year-old Beaumont man, was responsible for numerous burglaries in Beaumont’s West End in the past two weeks. Police were able to secure a warrant with a $300,000 bond attached to it and hoped to detain Willis before he could continue his crime spree.

But early Sunday morning at about 4 a.m., police say Willis and two of his associates — Malik Washington and Ariel Malveaux — were stopped dead in their tracks as they robbed a Lumberton family.

According to a BPD press release, earlier in the day on Sunday, the three took a Lumberton woman hostage at gunpoint and forced her to drive to the nearest ATM where she withdrew an unknown amount of cash.

Later, the three attempted a home invasion in the 100 block of Dennis Drive in Lumberton. Lumberton Police Chief Danny Sullins said, once there, a struggle ensued and Willis was shot after one of the victims retrieved a handgun.

“She was very brave. She was very calm,” Sullins said of the victim who shot Willis. “She was calmer than I was when I got there.”

BPD Police Chief Jimmy Singletary said the woman who shot Willis wasn’t the only brave one.

“A 6-year-old boy jumped on this suspect’s back to try and help his mom,” he said.

Singletary said as a result of the struggle, police were able to collect evidence that put Willis at the scene of the crime, namely a baseball cap left by Willis in the ensuing struggle.

“This young man had no worries about his own safety, and he jumped on this guy's back and helped fight this guy off,” Singletary said. “That was one where we retrieved some evidence.”

Willis is currently at the St. Elizabeth Hospital in the ICU, according to police, who said he was shot in the abdomen. Washington and Malveaux are in the custody of the Lumberton Police Department facing at least two counts of aggravated robbery. All three subjects face more robbery charges once police finish the investigation, police said.

BPD Sgt. Mike Custer would not comment on how much money Willis, Malveaux and Washington were able to get away with as a result of their crimes, but said the impact of their crimes can’t be assigned a dollar amount.

“There’s not much of a dollar amount, but the mental anguish, the impact on the victims, I don’t think you can put a price on,” he said.