December 02 2007 at 10:54AM
By Doreen Premdev
A feisty, quick thinking 7-year-old saved his mother and baby sister from being taken hostage by armed hijackers.
Dillon Peter, described as “a little hell raiser” by his parents, opened the car door as the hijackers were driving off in his father’s Toyota Corolla, forcing his mother and baby sister out of the car before jumping out himself. His only thought at the time was, “I need to get mum and Bianca away from those bad men”.
Dillon’s father James had taken his family along to visit friends in the neighbouring Buffelsdraai, Verulam area.
James said he had just reached his friend’s home and parked outside the gates, when a charcoal grey Toyota Tazz sped up behind him.
“Two men, armed with guns, got out and walked towards my car,” James said.
“My 12-year-old son, Jerome, was in the front seat, while my wife Susan sat with Dillon and Bianca, 2, in the back seat.
“The hijackers came up to my window and the passenger window and pointed a gun at us. Jerome opened his door, pushing the hijacker aside and ran to me. The hijacker demanded I get out of the car, which I did.
“By that time the second hijacker had jumped into the passenger seat and pointed a gun at my wife and Dillon. The other hijacker jumped in and started the car. The third man was pointing an AK-47 at me, as the two other hijackers tried to speed off with my family.
“I saw the back passenger door swing open and Susan and Bianca jump out, followed by Dillon. We scurried for cover under a car parked close by,” said James.
Thankful that his family survived the ordeal, James had not realised his son had saved them from what may have been a terrible fate.
“If it had not been for Dillon’s quick thinking, I would hate to think what could have happened to my family.”
Dillon could not control his excitement when his parents told him he would be in the newspaper. And when asked how he felt about being a hero, he joked and said he felt “like Spiderman”.
“I don’t know what I was thinking when I opened the car door. I just knew I had to get my mum and sister away from those bad guys. I did not want them to take us away. They had guns and looked angry,” Dillon said.
Police have not made any arrests and James’s car has not been recovered.