Albertsons employees honored for rescuing boy from rape attempt

BURIEN, Wash. -- Citizen heroes were honored Monday for saving a little boy last September from an attempted rape suspect at a grocery store in Burien.

Police say the child did the right thing by screaming and yelling, and what the Albertsons store employees did next earned them high honors.

Teasha Ward and Terry Carlson rushed into a bathroom when they heard a boy screaming, then ran to get help.

Police say Andrew Dempsey had the 11-year-old boy in a headlock and tried to rape him in the bathroom.

In all, seven employees jumped into action that day -- they didn't hesitate to confront Dempsey and tackled him when he tried to flee, police said.

"They got this guy, they tackled this guy, and they held him until police arrived a short later and he's still in jail," said Burien Police Chief Steve Kimerer.

Employees did everything right from comforting the boy to communicating with police and holding down the suspect. And for their selfless actions, Kimerer recognized the employees-- represented by the store manager -- with the King County Sheriff's Meritorious Service award.

"I am honored and humbled by the actions these people took," Kimerer said. "And behalf of Burien, we want to thank you very much."

Teasha's mom still can't believe what her daughter did to earn the honors.

"She told me she was grabbing at him and chasing him and stuff," said Tonya Ward. "But it's hard to imagine her being so tiny, so to see video it was wow, it was amazing what she did to save a little boy."

How an ordinary day turned on a dime, and good people stepped in and saved it.

"This could've happened anywhere," Kimerer said.

Dempsey remains behind bars on $1 million bail. His trial is scheduled to begin next month in Kent.