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GARDEN GROVE : Student Praised for Safeguarding Girl

Police and school officials honored a Mitchell Elementary School student last week for his role in finding a lost 3-year-old girl earlier this month.

During a DARE program graduation ceremony Thursday, Tan Kim, 12, received a medal and certificate of commendation for finding the girl and keeping her safe until he could tell police where she was, said Principal DeWayne Terry.

While riding his bike home on Jan. 15, Tan noticed the scared girl standing near the busy intersection of Brookhurst Street and Trask Avenue.

“She didn’t know where she was going. She looked nervous,” Tan said before the ceremony.

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Realizing something was wrong, he took her to a pay phone and dialed 911.

“She wanted to go before the police got there, but I just told her, ‘Wait for your mom,’ ” he said. Before long, the police and the girl’s grandmother arrived to take her home.

The police “told me that I should be proud of myself,” Tan said, not sounding convinced. Still, he added, helping someone out “feels good.”

Terry said Tan’s call to authorities was a heroic and thoughtful act of kindness. The police and the girl’s family “were frantically searching for this girl. . . . They were very relieved to get that phone call.”

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