HARTFORD, Conn. – An 11-year-old boy in Connecticut helped thwart an auto theft after attacking a man who stole his father’s car on Saturday while he was inside, according to police.

Although law enforcement officers have given thousands of personal admonitions to people, “Don’t leave children inside a running automobile,” it continues to happen. And the horror experienced by traumatized parents recurs.

“I just stepped away for a second,” is the typical response. Sadly, they learn it only takes a brief moment for an opportunist to steal a vehicle left running.

The latest publicized crime of this nature occurred in Hartford, Conn. over the weekend.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m., after the boy’s father left the car running with him inside in the parking lot of a McDonald’s, Hartford Police said in a news release.

11-year-old boy

Members of Hartford Police Department. (Hartford.gov)

Authorities said 43-year-old Edward Asberry of Hartford then jumped into the vehicle and drove off with the child inside, reported Fox News.

After the child realized the man behind the wheel was not his father, Hartford Police said the boy attacked Asberry, causing the 43-year-old to stop the car and flee on foot.

Moreover, Asberry also took a backpack from the vehicle before he ran away, according to police.

However, the would-be car thief was found.

11-year-old boy

Edward Asberry, 43 of Hartford, was arrested Saturday, according to police. (Hartford Police)

Asberry was eventually arrested after police were able to locate him with the help of nearby witnesses.

“Many citizen witnesses assisted with information to include the suspects name, description, and direction of travel,” police said. “There were no injuries. Excellent job by patrol!”

The 43-year-old was booked in jail on the charges of kidnapping in the second degree, larceny in the first degree, and risk of injury to a minor, according to police.