ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Jacob Thomson has been a bus driver with Abilene ISD since October of 2021. Though lately some have taken to calling him a hero, or even a guardian angel after he intervened in an incident between a middle-school-aged girl and a 45-year-old man.
“I’m neither one of those things, just a dad who was in the right place at the right time,” says Thomson.
Thomson was driving his middle school route around 7:00 Monday morning when he says he noticed a young girl walking down Butternut Street near South 16th. Although she was not on his route, he took a closer look when he noticed a man following close behind her.
“There wasn’t anything at first that was unusual except for the way that she responded to him calling out to her,” Thomson says.
According to police, the man who has now been identified as 45-year-old Sheldon Lee Bramblett, of Abilene, had offered the girl a vape smoking device. When she declined, Bramblett allegedly grabbed her and enticed her to enter a nearby vacant building.
‘”I made the decision to turn around and go back down 14th to Poplar and come down Poplar and see what was going on,” Thomson says.
When he rounded the corner, Thomson says Bramblett fled at the sight of the bus, at which point Thomson parked and approached the girl to make sure she was OK.
“I asked her if he did anything to her, and she said, ‘Yeah, he tried to kidnap me,'” says Thomson.
According to Thomson, the girl was visibly shaken as he called in to AISD bus dispatch. Thomson stayed with the girl until her regular bus arrived.
“Fortunately, she pulled up within a couple minutes, so she saw a familiar face and I think that was the best thing, was for her to see someone that she knew,” Thomson says.
Once the girl was in safe hands, he headed to a group of policemen just down the street to report the incident.
“Within 30 mins to an hour, I was told that the suspect was in custody, so you know, shout out to APD for doing their due diligence,” says Thomson.
The girl’s mother reached out to thank him, though he says he was happy to step in regardless of thanks.
“I would hope that any mom or any dad in that situation would have done the same thing. Just teach your kids to be mindful of what’s going on around them. Thankfully this young girl’s parents taught her how to act in that situation,” says Thomson.