FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fayetteville police and firefighters paid a special visit to a local pre-school to thank a five-year-old for helping save a missing man with Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Fayetteville police had been looking for 65-year-old Tony Joab, who went missing after walking away from his home. The police said he did not have a phone or vehicle and would appear disoriented.
“There have been extensive efforts made to locate the gentleman, but we just hadn’t found him yet,” said Lt. Scott Carlton with the Fayetteville Police Department. “Darkness was moving out on us. We had rainfall coming in, and we had done everything we could to put the information out to the public to try to find him.”
Lt. Carlton and his team decided the next step was to ask around a nearby neighborhood. When they got to Ezekiel McCulley’s door, he told them he saw a man out in the woods while at recess that day.
“I saved someone just off my eyes,” said Ezekiel.
Ezekiel said he was both excited and scared when speaking with the police, but he is so glad he did.
“The cops ended up coming back and knocking on our door,” said Ezekiel’s mom, Brittany McCulley. “They told us they found him and that it was due to his tip. They asked if they could take a picture with him and he has just been so excited since.”
Lt. Carlton said Ezekiel is the hero of the day.
“Everyone wanted to come and meet him, so the police officers and firemen were so excited this morning to come down here and see him,” said Lt. Carlton.
When they visited the Happy Hollow Pre-K class, they brought along cookies, badges and other items for the students.
Ezekiel’s heroism is being praised outside of the classroom as well. Fayetteville police posted the photos with their young hero and it’s blowing up with praise.
Ezekiel said he would like to become a police officer one day.
He even made up a new word to describe how saving a man’s life made him feel. The word is “criracle,” a mix between crazy and miracle.