Souped-up surprise for teen hero Alec Leslie

6:35 AM, Mar 15, 2014   |    comments
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Alec Leslie got to race around downtown St. Pete Friday in a special 2-seater race car and 10 News presented him with tickets to the Grand Prix Race all as a thank you for being a hero.


St. Petersburg, Florida -- Alec Leslie is a junior at East Bay High School. Along with his mother, he came to a downtown St. Petersburg park on Friday for what he thought was going to be an interview with 10 News about being called a hero.

You see, back in October Alec spotted a crashed van and he put his own life in danger to help save the seriously injured driver. He even continued to visit Brian McNutt in the hospital, and for his courage, Alec recently received the ROTC Medal for Heroism. Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Hector Pagan pinned it on his chest during a ceremony before the Hillsborough School Board.

"I appreciate the medal a lot. It was a true honor to get it from General Pagan," Alec told us.

Sure, medals are nice, but 10 News had something a little different in mind. With the help of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, we rolled out a souped-up surprise.

While Alec was talking with us on camera, a special two-seater race car rumbled up behind him and we told him, "This is your ride!"

"Seriously? I've seen them driving around. I've been looking at them all day," he responded, clearly stunned.

Alec got a different view of downtown from the back seat of this special Indy Car. It creates a lot of noise and apparently ear-to-ear grins.

A small camera we mounted on the car captured video of Alec on the phone. He couldn't wait to tell a friend about his sweet ride.

Alec said he didn't have a clue that he was going to get a treat today. In fact, on the drive over from Ruskin, he'd been complaining to his mother about having to do another interview.

"You guys were awesome for putting this surprise together. This is amazing," he said.

But don't put the brakes on Alec's surprise quite yet, because he also received enough tickets to the Grand Prix Race to bring his family and a bunch of friends.

All in all, quite a day for Alec -- but then again, he is quite a kid.


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