In case you missed it, Monday, Aug. 27, was “Leslie Meza Ruiz Day” in Meriden. Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati made the proclamation.
That’s because the 12-year-old “just felt like I should do something” during an armed robbery at her family’s Meriden grocery store on July 24.
Security video posted to the Meriden Police Department Facebook page shows Leslie arguing with one of the robbers as he moves toward her. The man grabs the cash register and, when he turns away, Leslie jumps on his back to stop him. A man and a woman were taken into custody and charged later that night.
With tears in her eyes, Leslie thanked the Meriden Police Department during a ceremony Friday that recognized her bravery during the armed robbery. Sgt. Christopher Fry presented Leslie with a heroism award. He said that in his 15 years in law enforcement he has never seen or heard of anything similar.
“You can tell the story and it doesn’t do justice to watching the video of how courageous you were trying to protect your family,” Fry told her.
While we do not advise anyone to physically take on an armed robber, Leslie had a simple explanation:
“In that moment I knew that I had to do it,” she said.