Many of us like to think that we would always help out when someone needs help. In reality, this is not always true. Some people would opt to turn a blind eye instead! No one really knows what will happen until you have to deal with this situation in real life. It was a good thing these young men chose to do the right thing.
Just Another Day
James Hielema, Starlyn Rives-Perez, Arnaud Nimenya, and Carsyn Wright had been enjoying a normal night. They simply met up at the underground parking garage to practice their skating tricks as usual. However, it was almost late, so they wanted to wrap things up.
They then saw a girl and two men headed for the same parking garage. What stood out to them was that the young girl looked so disorderly. On top of that, the two men were older than and forceful towards her.
In the beginning, the girl had been walking in front of them. However, they changed this upon realizing that there were others in the area. This was not really that unusual, but the boys saw something even odder.
Stop To Check
The skaters had been planning to leave when something about the situation changed that. Do you have any idea what they could have witnessed to make them stop walking all of a sudden? Let us find out.
She Was Yelling
One of the teens said, “She was screaming and yelling.” Carsyn Wright recalled, “She just wanted to be out of there.” There was no way they would not feel suspicious after witnessing something like that.
They Were Intimidated
“The guy was dressed in very nice clothes… and the girl was all dirty, she was crying, her nose was bleeding,” Wright added. They started to look at this group more closely. They wanted an explanation.
Even though there were more of them, the boys still felt intimidated by the men. After all, they had no idea how strong the strangers were. The bigger of the two men said he was her father.
Had To Trust Them
After this, the boys decided to back off. They came to the conclusion that they found her drinking or doing something similar. They did not worry because she did not ask them for any help whatsoever.
Night was starting to fall, so the teens wanted to head home. With their skateboards, they decided to call it a day. The easiest path for them was to believe what the men just told them.
Nighttime In Calgary
However, they could not shake off the feeling that something was wrong. In general, Calgary is a safe place. However bad things still happened to places like that. Could the men have lied to their faces?
It was true that the girl appeared intoxicated. However, the boys could not help but feel uneasy about the entire situation the harder they thought it through. Maybe it was wrong to have backed down.
For one, the man confidently claimed to be the father. One might even say he was arrogant about it. There was no reason for a real father to act like that. It was this detail that spurred them to action.
“She was all scuffed up and dirty,” Carsyn recalled. It did not seem like everything was going right between the men and the girl. The last straw was seeing one of them hoist her up over a shoulder!
They Had To Know
The girl was clearly resisting. The boys knew that this might be the last time they could do something about it. They did not know what was going on, but the least they could do was try to figure it out.
Something was clearly wrong about the three people that the boys just met. Did they even actually know one another? What were they planning to do in the parking lot at that time of the day anyway?
Running To Help
They could tell that something sinister was happening here. They decided to go back, hoping hard that they were not late just yet. The boys retraced their steps as quickly as they could. Did they make it?
They did know what to do until Wright said, “You don’t want to really think of the worst in somebody like that. You don’t want that situation to be real, so you just brush it off and hope for the best.”
On A Search
When they reached the entrance of the parking lot, they did not see the group there. Despite this, they knew exactly what they needed to do. It was simple. They just had to go in and look for them.
They did not know that the men were even more suspicious than they thought. When they went back to the Chinook Centre underground parking lot, the boys had to deal with the dark underbelly of the city.
No Going Back
It was far too late for them to go back. In reality, there was a growing issue in this area of Calgary. Below the upmarket exterior of the shopping center, there was something terrifying lurking in its depths.
Officer Arthur L. Doner had been investigating the growth in criminal activity in this area of Calgary. He failed to find anything substantial, however. The dealings of the gangs almost felt like a mythical beast.
To The Rescue
Whenever he took down one member, it felt like two more came to replace that person. In the end, he would get his big break with the help of these four brave teens who took down Hydra by themselves.
The boys walked around slowly since it was very dark in the underground parking lot of the Chinook Centre. There were no security guards at the time. They checked earlier before they started to skate.
They Knew The Secret Spot
This was the best place to go if you were planning to get up to all kinds of mischief. Unfortunately, the boys were not the only ones who felt that way. The men also had the same idea about the parking lot.
Looking For Something
The CCTV footage captured the two men as they went all over the parking lot. From the way they acted, it looked like they were looking for something. The girl was also there while they did this.
In the end, the two men found exactly what they had been searching for. They saw the door to the stairwell. They entered the room, escorted the girl inside, and closed the door behind them.
The Empty Stairwell
Around the same time, the boys returned to the parking lot. They were careful not to make a lot of noise. It felt emptier that time. They checked behind the parked cars but did not find anything there.
It took a couple of minutes before they discovered the same stairwell that the two men did. They went inside not long ago. Were they going to find the group in there? They felt scared to find out.
What They Found
Arnaud then placed his hand on its door handle. Hopefully, they were all going to be ready no matter what they found down there. At last, he opened the stairwell door. What they found left them in shock.
The boys inspected the parking lot no matter how dark it was. They made sure to check the spaces between the vehicles well. The men could have been anywhere as there were lots of hiding places.
They Were Speechless
In the end, they found the men when they looked through the stairwell. They were completely shocked by what they saw down there. What was it that they saw and left them at a loss for words?
They could see the silhouettes of the men down there. They felt the instinct to run but decided it was a better idea to take action instead. After all, there was no chance that they would let the girl suffer more.
They were disgusted by what the men were doing to this young girl. One of the boys, Arnaud Nimenya, said he “didn’t know what to do.” Soon enough, they got over the shock and took the girl away.
Time To Leave
It is a no-brainer that the two men would be furious at them. The boys had no idea who they were at that time. The taller guy attempted to escape, which led to the other one to follow him out of there.
Nimenya recalled, “He pushed me aggressively out of the way, kinda like just gives me the smile…like, ‘I can do this. You can’t do anything about it.” Of course, the boys were not going to let that happen.
Going After Them
They were scared, but there was nothing else that they could do at the moment. As the men tried to walk out of there, three of the skaters followed them. One stayed behind to keep the girl company.
The two men tried to escape from them, but the three boys managed to catch up. They were not going to let such a cruel person get away with this. The teens kept running after the two older men.
It was a good thing that Officer Arthur Doner had been ready. He got a tip that this man was seen near the Chinook Centre. He came to this part of Calgary right away and bided his time.
Last Ditch Effort
He asked for backup, although it turns out that the gang leader was not going to be hard to find. After all, he basically ran into the police car! The teens were coming after them, but then things changed.
Police Were Waiting
The bigger man turned around and started fighting them. He ripped a skateboard from their grip and began to hit them with it. As you might have figured out, this was nothing more than a desperate move.
This man did not expect that Officer Doner had been waiting for him the entire time. Before the boys got badly hurt, he intervened. He went out of the car and then wrestled the gang leader to the ground.
It probably felt like a dream to him. After all, he had been waiting for this moment for a long time! By the time backup arrived, the second man had already gotten away. Meanwhile, the boys ran on instinct.
Where did they go? Of course, they returned to the parking lot. They found their friend and the girl there. They felt bad for what she just went through. At the time, they had no clue who the men were.
They ensured that she was safe and sound. In the end, they knew that there was nothing to do but to go home. It might sound like a happy ending, but they started receiving phone calls soon after this.
Who could be on the other end of the phone calls? They were too scared to answer them. Was it the accomplice? How did he even get his hands on their contact information? The calls kept coming…
Scared At First
Chief Const. Roger Chaffin was actually the one calling them the whole time! He only wanted to thank the young men for what they did for the girl. Of course, the boys did not know that this was the case.
In the end, there was nothing the boys could do but to pick it up. They could not help but feel surprised when they heard who was speaking to them! They were both pleasantly surprised and fearful.
Nimenya could not believe that they got recognition for what they did: “We always thought we were going to be in trouble because we fought with him. When they called us, we didn’t wanna answer.”
Looking For Him
Not one of them suspected that they helped apprehend the man behind gang problems in Calgary. The members of the FOB gang were notorious for the sinister things they got up to in this Canadian city.
Everyone knew that the girl would have had an even worse fate if the boys did not help her out. The police had been trying to apprehend this particular man for several months when it finally happened.
Spilling The Details
They brought the man to custody and started asking questions. He cooperated fully and began to spill the beans on the rest of the members. He told them everything from their addresses to their crimes!
They Did The Right Thing
Officer Arthur Doner finally found a way to handle the gang problems in Calgary. Needless to say, this would have been absolutely impossible if the boys had not been there to help out in the first place.
The teenagers all received invitations to attend the Chief’s Award Gala. On top of this, they were getting recognition for their services to the city! Everyone was proud of what these four young men did.
Calgary Chief’s Award Gala
Every year, the Calgary Police Service holds its Chief’s Awards Gala to honor citizens who made various acts of courage and helped the people in the community. It must have been a great honor for the boys.
Roger Chaffin, the Police Chief, said, “Calgary is a safe place to live but it doesn’t happen by itself, it’s safe because of the people that live here and the nature of wanting to help and wanting to look out for each other and that’s really a nice comment for such a big city”.
What would you have done if you found yourself in their shoes? Do you think you would have reacted the same way? Do you think you would have walked away? Clearly, what the boys did took courage.
A Great Job
It is hard enough to stand up to a single person as it is. Can you imagine how much guts it must have taken them to stand up to two older and bigger men? If they didn’t act, the girl would not be safe!
Calgary Police Chief
Police Chief Chaffin gave his speech to start the event. He said, “Nobody gets their day started thinking this is going to happen to them, that they’re going to be involved in one of these things.”
Without a doubt, the boys did something wonderful. However, they are far from being the only ones who did something heroic like that. The other recipients of the Award of Exceptional Recognition are Juan Dolph, Jasmine Simpson, John Eddy, and Erin O’Connor.
Aside from the award the boys received, the police station also awarded the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Valour and the Award of Exception Recognition for Life Saving. Lee Copeland and Paul Butler are two awardees of the latter.
Jasmine Simpson and Juan Dolph
Let us take a look at the heroic deeds the other awardees did. For Juan and Jasmine, they saw a man verbally abused his ex-wife and then hurt her inside the car as the kids screamed from the backseat. The two intervened, called the police, and stayed with the woman until they got there.
Meanwhile, John Eddy noticed that a driver was behaving erratically. The car in question did not move even though the traffic lights already changed. It started to move across the intersection and hit the curb! He rushed over to the driver and learned that he got a heart attack. John delivered lifesaving CPR!
Erin O’Connor also witnessed violence at a parking lot. One man attacked a man and left a serious injury. She chased after the attacker and then helped the wounded man until help finally arrived at the site.
Paris Hazelwanter was another awardee. She had been in the vicinity during a drive-by shooting. She ran to the woman in the ambushed car, dodged bullets, and asked other bystanders for help. They managed to get the woman out of there. Paris waited until emergency services responded.
Daxton Novak and Derek Wideman
Derek and Daxton had been at home when the woman living above them dangled from the balcony of her sixth-floor apartment. She was suffering from drug-induced psychosis and climbed over the rails to escape police officers. They told her to get inside their place and held onto her limbs to help her in. She tried to make a dash for the balcony once more when the police entered, but the two men kept her still.
Jessica risked her life when she saw a suicide attempt. She had been on her bike when she witnessed a man climb onto the bridge railing. She spoke to him and stayed there until the emergency crews arrived.
Sonia Hafeez Yousaf
Sonia was only a young girl of ten when she did something heroic. A former business associate of her mom’s went to their house and assaulted her mother! She went to the neighbor to ask for help. The police got there in time to arrest the perp. It is a good thing the victim recovered.
Meanwhile, Shirley Thiessen received the award for her work on the death notification course. In 2012, she learned that her son Jordan passed away in an accident. The local police broke the news to them but did it so poorly that it negatively impacted them. She decided to share the story and educate others.
Constable Patty Desormeau
Constable Patty Desormeau is another person who deserved the award. She was the one to develop the vulnerable persons self-registry for the Calgary Police. This member of the CPS Diversity Resources Unit was inspired after hearing of the Ontario autism registry. Her effort helped many vulnerable people!
Nestor Aravena Bonastre
Meanwhile, Nestor received the award when he witnessed a young girl dangling her legs over the edge of a bridge. She told him that she wanted to jump, but he convinced her not to go through with her plan. The police explained, “As he got closer, she went over the ledge and hung by her hands. Nestor made a split-second decision and grabbed hold of her arms to stop her falling”. They added, “Nestor hung there, leaning over the bridge, holding the girl for more than three minutes in 35-degree temperatures before police arrived. An officer arrived, leaned over the edge and grabbed hold of the girl’s leg to pull both her and Nestor back to a safe location.”