A Normal Day
It was just another night at the impromptu skate park. Four teenagers practiced their tricks in an underground parking garage, having a great time. It was getting late, though, and the four Canadian boys would soon need to be heading home.
However, as they emerged from the underground parking lot, they were stopped by a suspicious sight outside.
Not So Normal Anymore
A clearly upset young girl and two much older men were making their way over the grass towards the parking garage. One of the men was being quite forceful with the disorderly teenager. At first, he was walking behind her, but then he seemed to realize that they had company.
That alone wasn’t quite enough to arouse suspicion until they noticed something else about the girl.
According to one of the skateboarders, “She was screaming and yelling,” Carsyn Wright said: “She just wanted to be out of there.” That, in itself, was enough to arouse suspicion in the boys’ hearts. The four teenagers turned their attention to the men and confronted them for an explanation.
What was going on here?
The Perfect Explanation
The larger of the two men explained to the concerned boys that he was her father. Assuming maybe he’d found her drinking at too early an age or something similar, the boys backed off. The woman didn’t ask for help nor did she contradict the man’s words, so they let it go.
Something didn’t feel right though.
It was getting late in Calgary, and the boys would need to head home. Packing up their skateboards and reservations, they started heading back. It was easier to believe the man. After all, the girl hadn’t disagreed with him.
But they just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off.
An Uneasy Feeling
It was true that the girl had seemed intoxicated, but the more the boys thought about it, the more uneasy they became. Should they have backed down so quickly?
The man who had claimed to be her father had seemed extremely confident – arrogant, even. Would a father act that way? Then, an unsettling detail dawned on them that made them question everything.
“She was all scuffed up and dirty,” Carsyn remembers. She looked like she had been struggling against the man for a while. Then, as if putting an end to the conversation, the man had hoisted her up over his shoulder like a bag of potatoes. But she was still trying to resist.
Every instinct in the boys screamed at them to go back. They’d never forgive themselves if they didn’t.
No Way It Could Be Real
The more they thought about it, the more they knew that something just wasn’t right. Were they sure the three knew each other? And what were they doing waiting outside the parking lot at that hour? The sinking feeling hit them all at once – there may be something darker going on here.
Hurrying back, they only hoped they weren’t too late.
Hoping For The Best
The boys admitted that they weren’t convinced, but 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.”
When they arrived outside the parking lot, the trio was nowhere in sight. But it didn’t take them long to figure out where they’d gone.
The boys searched inside the underground parking lot, peering in between the rows of cars as they walked. With so many shadows to hide in, they could be anywhere.
But it was only when they searched the stairwell that they found them. The scene they had walked into was even worse than they could have ever imagined.
Faced With The Truth
The boys rounded the corner and were startled by what they had found. They could just make out the shape of the men in the darkness. Their instincts told them to run, but in an instant, they all resolved to take action.
They couldn’t just leave the girl to her fate, they had to do something.
The four boys were disgusted and frozen by what the men were doing to her. Arnaud Nimenya, one of the boys, admitted that he, “didn’t know what to do.” It didn’t take the four long to snap out of it, however, and they tried to separate the men from the girl.
The men, of course, were furious.
Dirty And Furious
The taller man, thwarted, tried to leave the situation altogether, wash his hands of it. The other man, his accomplice, followed him as they left. Nimenya remarked as they followed, “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.”
They couldn’t stand by and let them get away with it.
As the men tried to walk out, they turned to see three of the boys chasing him. One had stayed behind with the shaken girl while the others had given chase. They tried to outrun them, but they were catching up fast.
Determined not to let the men get away with such unspeakable cruelty, the boys sprinted on through the streets of Calgar. Suddenly, they were on them. They had nowhere left to run.
With nowhere to go, the taller man turned to face the teenagers. That’s when he decided to fight.
He ripped a skateboard from one of the boys’ hands and used it as a bludgeon, trying to push them back. He knew it was the end of the line, but he thought he could win by sheer force. Little did he know, the police were only a few feet away.
Before the man could do serious harm to the boys, the police got involved and hauled him and his companion away.
After the three returned, they found the girl safe and sound with the last boy, and the four went home, not knowing just how grateful the city would be for their heroic efforts that evening.
The teens didn’t realize that their ordeal wasn’t over yet. They kept getting phone calls but were too afraid to answer. What if they were in trouble for fighting the man? Or worse, what if the man had somehow gotten their contact details?
But the calls kept coming. They knew they had to bite the bullet and face the consequences of their actions. They couldn’t run away forever.
Afraid At First
The police chief, Chief Const. Roger Chaffin, tried to call the boys, wanting to thank them for what they’d done. Unfortunately, the boys misunderstood the calls — they thought they’d get in trouble for fighting the man.
Eventually, the call went through, and the boys were pleasantly surprised by what they were told.
The four boys were invited to attend the Chief’s Award Gala in recognition for their services to Calgary and to the young girl they’d saved.
All four agreed that it’s what they hoped anyone would’ve done in the same situation. Next time, they’ll know to trust their instincts as much as their boards.
If you had found yourself in the same situation, would you have trusted your gut feeling? Or would you have walked away?
What these four teens did was an incredible act of bravery and took a lot of courage. It’s not easy to stand up to one adult who seems to have authority, let alone two. Who knows what would have happened to the girl if they hadn’t trusted their instincts?