Student honored at Boone County for stopping alleged kidnapping

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Student honored at Boone County for stopping alleged kidnapping.

A student was honored Friday for his role in helping to stop a potential kidnapping at Conner High School.

Cody Hardin walked into a much different scene Friday morning at the school’s entrance, where he helped stop the kidnapping.

A sea of applause came from not only students but from school officials, state representatives and local law enforcement officers — all for Hardin.

On Friday, he was presented with multiple awards for his bravery and courage and given the honor of having it be Cody Hardin Day in Boone County.

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Hardin saw what police said was an attempted kidnapping.

“It was really just like a gut feeling, you know? Something didn’t seem right. And I just wanted to do what I had to do,” said Hardin, a junior at Conner High School.

In August, police said 18-year-old Benjamin Margitza flew to Northern Kentucky from Las Vegas to make contact with a 16-year-old girl. Police said the two met online, but talked only briefly, and the girl had since blocked him on social media. Then, he showed up at her school.

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“I’m, like, ‘You alright?’ and she’s, like, ‘Get him away from me,’ so I said ‘Alright.’ So I pushed her in front of me and I told the guy, ‘Walk away now before things get too bad,'” said Hardin.

He contacted school officials, who later arrested Margitza. Just the other day, the girl contacted Hardin.

“That was the best part of it, was when she thanked me. What did she say? She said, ‘Thank you,’ and I told her what was happening and stuff and she’s, like, ‘Well, you deserve all of it,'” said Hardin.

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His father was there to watch the assembly and said standing up for what is right is something that comes natural to Hardin.

“It scared me but, at the same, time I was proud of him, still proud of him,” said Jody Hardin, Hardin’s father.

Hardin said he probably won’t go into a career in law enforcement, but he has his sights set on the military.

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