Nine-year-old Michael Stern says he was walking with a friend, near a cornfield on the edge of his Rock Falls neighborhood, when a stranger offered them candy and then tried to grab them.
"He lunged at us. He tried to grab us. He asked us if we wanted candy and we said no. He started coming toward us and I found this metal pipe, and said 'Back off, otherwise I will hit you with it.' He started running at us and we sprinted home," Stern said.
It happened around 7p.m. on Saturday night, in a neighborhood bordered by the Rock River and cornfields.
Illinois State Police interviewed both boys separately and issued a press release asking for the public's help with any information about the case.
Penny Smit, Michael's mom, says she is grateful her son did the right thing.
"He did everything right. Yes, he did. We raised a good boy," she said.
The suspect has been described as a black male, about 6 feet, wearing a white t-shirt, brown pants, and black and green tennis shoes.
The boys say he had a blue baseball hat, was clean shaven, with a tattoo on his arm.
Anyone with information can call the Illinois State Police at 815-632-4010.
"If you see a stranger, don't do close to 'em and run away," Stern said.