When they say “Don’t Mess with Texas,” you can now add Texas moms to the list.
The slogan was created as part of the state’s campaign to reduce littering on Texas roadways but took on a greater meaning in its popularity, and certainly applied to a Lake Jackson mother who took down a peeping Tom she reportedly caught looking into her daughter’s bedroom window.
Phyllis Pena returned home from the store around 7 a.m. last Sunday to find a man in her yard allegedly peeking in her 15-year-old daughter’s window, KPRC-TV reported — the teen was not in the room at the time, according to the mother.
The man took off and Pena called the police, and officers soon found the suspect, who reportedly tried to get away by running, according to the NBC affiliate. Unfortunately, he chose a path that passed in front of Pena and the woman made a dramatic takedown that was captured on an officer’s dashcam video.
“First instinct was just to make sure he didn’t go any further,” Pena said of her daring exploit.
“My kids are my life and just making sure I protect them,” she added.
The daughter was seen in the video, and the teen reportedly helped pin down the suspect until police could catch up and make the arrest.
“I figured if I got him down,” Pena said, “tripped him up, whatever, they have a chance to get caught up.”
Zane Hawkins, 19, was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest and resisting arrest, according to the Lake Jackson Police Department.
Sgt. Roy Welch said, “It’s not very often that we have somebody that actually steps in, puts themself in harm’s way to assist in apprehending somebody.”
One of the officers suggested Pena may want to try out for the local Houston Texans NFL team.
“The cop fist-bumped me and he was like, ‘Hey, so I heard the Texans are looking for a new linebacker,’” Pena said.
She shared the dramatic footage on Facebook, adding: “The video everyone has been waiting for 😂 My next step is to try out for the NFL 😏.”
The video everyone has been waiting for 😂
My next step is to try out for the NFL 😏
*Turn the volume up*
*I do not own the rights to this music*
Posted by Phyllis Buschelman Pena on Tuesday, February 9, 2021
The incident prompted an online critique of the protective mother’s tackling skills, with plenty of praise flowing her way.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses from Twitter:
Don’t mess with Texas women!!!
— KristaRox (@whisset) February 11, 2021
she led with the head. perp get’s auto first down and retanes posseson of stolen goods
— houston new’s commenter (@trufflebutterTT) February 11, 2021
Bs call, that was textbook
— T. (@tristin_flores) February 11, 2021
im not Lance but as a db coach I can tell you she understood her leverage and used the 12th man(sideline err i mean car) to perfection
— Don Kabel (@DonKabel) February 12, 2021
Much respect for her technique!!
— Jeff Nguyen (@jeffnguyen) February 12, 2021
Boom 💥 Some body sign this woman up!! She has MAD TACKLING SKILLS!! 🤣 @dallascowboys Draft!!
Just sayin’ 😏
— Priceless Opinion (@PricelessOpin) February 12, 2021
— Trevino🌊🇺🇲 (@WhatsUpMissT) February 11, 2021
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