Real-life Home Alone incidents – machete attack to case that changed the law

Home Alone might seem like a fanciful yarn but real-life tales in its mould aren’t as rare as you might think.

Over the years, incidents akin to the famous festive flick have played out in unscripted moments around the world, including four-year-olds left alone for Christmas, to kids stopping machete-battered home invaders.

Although none of this cases are quite as complex as the trap filled fun of Kevin McCallister, these kids still had a hell of a time as some were left by their parents.

READ MORE: Worst times for UK motorists to drive home for Christmas revealed by experts

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Braydon Smith and the machete

Little 11-year-old Braydon Smith had been on the phone with his mother when a burglar wielding a machete broke into the family home in Mebane, North Carolina. The suspect was named in 2019 as 19-year-old Jataveon Dashawn Hall.

Braydon’s actions were likened to Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister and is reported to have fought back. He toldWTVDthat during the incident: “He went into the living room to grab my phone to make sure I didn’t call 911 or anything. When I saw him try to put it in his pocket.

“I grabbed my machete off of my wall and went to hit him. I hit him in the back of the head like right here. It went by really fast. I knew I didn’t have the time to think about what I was going to do. I just grabbed a weapon in the house and acted with it.”

After the incident, the child allegedly said: “You shouldn’t have done what you’ve done. You’re better off to get a job than breaking into other people’s houses.”

Hall was charged with breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping, interfering with emergency communications as well as assault on a child under 12.

The Schoo incident

This case saw parents David and Sharon Schoo leave their nine and four-year-old children alone in the St Charles area of Illinois, US, near Chicago while they jetted off to Mexico for a holiday. The case was not clear cut but the parents headed off for a nine-day galivant in the country south of the border.

The 1992 incident made waves in legal and child welfare circles with experts debating the reasonable limit of how long you can leave children for. At the time, Illinois’ Department of Children didn’t define it as abandonment if the parents intended to come back.

The incident saw the state become one of the first to define how long they could be left for. Critics, however, called it an overreaction. "The facts were just so egregious," said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, who was a state representative at the time. "The parents were leaving the country and thought having a 9-year-old watch a 4-year-old was (OK)."

The Green family of Arizona

A family from Arizona in the US were reported in 2022 to have left their 11-year-old son home alone for weeks over the festive period. Parents 34-year-old Melissa Green and 40-year-old Bobby Jo Green left home on December 12 and didn’t return until December 29. They did however reportedly leave food in the freezer. After the incident, they were arrested for child neglect with their kid put into child protective services.

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