Boy hailed as hero

Published 11:35 pm Friday, June 3, 2011

Hero: Jamarea Mills, 9, shown with his mother, Cornesia Council, is being hailed as a hero after he knocked a pocketknife out of another boy’s hand. Council said she’s not surprised because her son has always loved animals.

Jamarea Mills has never had a pet of his own, but he loves animals and wants to be a veterinarian someday.

That’s why it’s no surprise to anybody who knows him that he risked injury to himself to save a kitten by knocking a pocketknife out of an older boy’s hand.

Jamarea is the boy credited with saving a stray kitten that was enduring a brutal attack, allegedly by a 12-year-old boy. The incident happened on a playground near Jamarea’s home on Brook Avenue.

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“He shouldn’t stab it,” 9-year-old Jamarea said Friday when asked what he thought when the accused boy brought out a pocketknife after beating the kitten.

Jamarea is being hailed as a hero after his good deed. His story has been picked up by multiple media outlets, and a Facebook page, “Jamarea Mills is a hero,” that was made to honor him had more than 4,300 “likes” by Friday night.

Jamarea said he feels “proud” of all the attention. His mother let him read some of the comments on the Facebook page and has been communicating with others there, including to report that Jamarea was sad to hear the kitten had died Friday morning.

Jamarea said he and some other children had been playing with the kitten by sliding it down the baby slide at the park.

When the suspect began his brutal attack and brought out the knife, Jamarea “smacked it out of his hand,” he said.

The other children, thinking the 7-week-old kitten was dead, then put it in a box. Jamarea took it to his apartment and told his mom he had brought a cat home, though he didn’t show it to her or tell her it was injured.

“I said wherever you got that cat from, take it back,” said Cornesia Council, explaining they are not allowed to have pets at their apartment.

“He loves animals in general, so it doesn’t surprise me what he’s done,” she added.

Facebook members have been praising Jamarea all week.

“Jamarea, you are a kind and compassionate human being,” said Mary Sue Sylwestrzak. “You should be proud of yourself.”

Even City Council members expressed a desire to honor Jamarea during their meeting Wednesday night. Councilman Jeffrey Gardy suggested bringing him to a future council meeting to praise him.