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Heroic Scout, 9, to meet president

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Newsmaker: Heroic Scout, 9, to meet president

Boy helped thwart carjacking in 2000


Monday, February 11, 2002


By Johnna A. Pro, Post-Gazette Staff Writer


While most third-graders will head to school this week prepared for lessons in reading, writing and mathematics, Jordon Wade has much headier matters to think about: meetings with President Bush and members of Congress.

Jordon Wade, of Wilkinsburg is one of seven Scouts selected to go to Washington, D.C., to present a report on scouting to the president and Congress. (Robin Rombach/Post-Gazette)


Jordon, 9, of Wilkinsburg, a member of Cub Scout Pack 379 based at St. James African Methodist Episcopal Church, is one of seven young people in Washington this week presenting the Report to the Nation on behalf of Boy Scouts of America to the president and Congress.


"Jordon is our youngest delegate and he'll be representing 1.2 million other Cub Scouts," said Renee L. Fairrer, spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts of America.


Jordon came to the attention of national scouting officials after local representatives nominated him for a national Medal of Merit for bravery because of his actions during an attempted carjacking in May 2000 when he was just 7 years old.


On that day, Jordon and his teen-age aunt, Ashleigh, tagged along when Harold Jackson went to pick up Jordon's sister, London, at a daycare center in the Hill District. Ashleigh was in the front passenger seat. Jordon was sitting in the back seat.


Harold Jackson pulled over on Roberts Street. He ran up to the daycare center, leaving the van running with the keys inside, as he typically did when he ran inside to get his daughter.


As he waited for London to put on her shoes, Jackson glanced out a window and noticed a man leaning against the driver's side of the van.


"I thought he might be asking for directions," Jackson said.


The man, though, whom police later said was a heroin addict, was screaming at Ashleigh that he had a gun, and he jumped inside the van, intent on stealing it.


As Ashleigh tried to maneuver around her seat belt and grab for the keys, Jordon sprang into action.


"I took my seat belt off, I scooted over and I choked him," Jordon said, showing how he climbed over the seat and wrapped his arms around the man's neck.


"He was crying and screaming and choking him all at the same time," Jackson said.


Jordon hung on tight until Jackson was able to get to the van, pull the man out and subdue him until police came.


Jordon, who attends Central Baptist Academy in the Hill District, left for Washington on Saturday with his parents, Monica and Harold Jackson.


"I think it really means that you're the cream of the crop," said Warren Baugh, 25, president of Southern Pines Trucking Inc. in Rochester, Beaver County, and an Eagle Scout who in 1994 was one of the presenters. "You stand for and exemplify all of the ideals scouting has in place. It's a testament to his upbringing from his parents and the skills he's learned in scouting.


"It's really a once in a lifetime opportunity. He'll be the only Cub Scout there out of every one in this country."


Under scouting's charter, granted by Congress in 1910, the Boy Scouts must present an annual report about the state of scouting. Those selected to do so represent the values, leadership and service ideals of the organization. If all goes as planned, Jordon and the others will meet the president, along with the nation's top political leaders.


"Jordon is an excellent example of scouting at its best," said Robert Mazzuca, the local Boy Scout executive. "His calm, quick actions averted a potentially dangerous situation. This young man displayed bravery in its purest form."


The whole thing hasn't completely sunk in for Jordon.


"He really doesn't realize the impact of what he did," Jackson said.


Most impressive, said Mazzuca, was that when Jordon told his story he talked up how he felt sorry for the man and wanted him to get help.


"That's a great message," Mazzuca said.



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