What are you going to do when you notice that there is something wrong going on? It would be so easy to simply turn a blind eye and keep doing your own thing. However, it is always a relief to hear that there are people who would do everything in their power to help out. That was what happened to these four young men from Calgary, Canada. They did not expect that anything like this was going to happen!
Just Another Day
James Hielema, Arnaud Nimenya, Carsyn Wright, and Starlyn Rives-Perez were at the skate park as usual on the day that it happened. They met up in the underground parking lot because they wanted to practice tricks and have fun with their friends. Night was falling, so they decided that they should get their things and leave.
At that point, other people went down to the parking garage. There were three people in this group. It was a group of two older men and a young woman. The boys felt worried after seeing that she was upset and distraught. What bothered them as well would be the force that the men were using on her.
In the beginning, one of the men had been walking with the girl in front of him. However, he realized that they were not the only people there and changed it up. Even though this is not the most worrying thing ever, it did puzzle the teens. On top of that, they were alarmed by what the girl was doing.
Stop To Check
This was unraveling as they were trying to get out of the underground parking lot. Something made the teens stop all of a sudden. It made them do a double-take and decide that they could not just ignore what was happening in front of them. They had to check if everything was all right! But what was it?
She Was Yelling
“She was screaming and yelling,” remembered one of the teen skateboarders. Carsyn Wright also said, “She just wanted to be out of there.” When you see behavior like that, it is only natural to feel concerned for this person. After all, you do not see something like that in public on a daily basis.
They Were Intimidated
“The guy was dressed in very nice clothes… and the girl was all dirty, she was crying, her nose was bleeding,” Carsyn Wright narrated what they saw on that night. After realizing this, they watched the group more closely. They did not stop there and even asked the two men what was going on here.
Even though there were four of them against two, they still felt intimidated to ask this question. After all, there was no telling what was going to happen when they intervened. They had no idea just how strong these men could be in a fight. The bigger of the two men told them that the girl was his daughter.
Had To Trust Them
When they heard that, they backed off. Their theory was that he saw her drinking or otherwise doing something that was not allowed. However, what made them leave was the fact that she did not say that this was incorrect. If she did not complain, it must be true. After all, they had no idea what was going on.
It was already starting to get late by then. In fact, the boys all wanted to return home for this very reason. They decided to set aside their hesitations and simply mind their own business. Of course, it helped that it was much easier to trust what they heard instead of doubting the words of that man.
Nighttime In Calgary
Despite this, something did not feel right to them. In general, Canada is a very safe place. The same is true for the city of Calgary. Bad things happened everywhere, after all. The boys did not want to assume that the man lied to them. However, it was hard to completely trust his words in a situation like that.
They agreed that the girl looked drunk. However, the boys got more uneasy about this situation when they spent more time to think about it. Maybe it was wrong of them to leave so easily and leave her with the pair of men. After all, the man who claimed to be the father was behaving in a very weird way.
As a matter of fact, it would not be a stretch to say that he was acting in an arrogant manner. There would have been no reason for a father to behave that way. Aside from that, they saw something that he did to her that simply did not sit right with this group of boys.
“She was all scuffed up and dirty,” Carsyn Wright said. Based on the way they were interacting, it looked like the girl and the men had not been getting along very well. The boys were especially shocked to see one of them sling her over the shoulders. They were treating her like she was just a bag of potatoes!
They Had To Know
Not only that, but she was clearly resisting them as well. This was when the skaters felt the need to do something about the situation. After all, how would they be able to sleep at night if they did not at least try do lend her a hand? It was important for them to know for sure that nothing sketchy was happening.
It was clear that this situation was not what it seemed. They could not help but feel like these people did not know one another as well. On top of that, it was weird to see people go to the parking lot at that hour. The boys felt a strong urge to act because the whole thing looked very suspicious to them.
Running To Help
It was not hard to tell that there was something fishy going on there. The boys hurried back to the parking lot, hoping that they still had time to get in the way. They scampered back and prayed that it was not yet too late. Back then, it did not matter to them if they were panting hard. They had to help!
At first, they hesitated about whether they should intervene or not. We are so glad that they ended up doing the right thing. Carsyn 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 made it to the parking lot, they could not see the group anywhere outside. The boys knew exactly what they had to do then and there. It was time for them to enter the dark garage and look for the girl. Who knows what could have happened to her if they did not intervene?
Even though they had some idea, the skaters had no idea that the entire thing was even more sinister than they had in mind. They made it back to the Chinook Centre underground parking garage. As they got there, they were actually entering a dangerous situation. This was a part of Calgary that very few people knew about…
No Going Back
By that point, there was no turning back for the boys. In reality, there was a huge problem in that part of the city. The mall might have looked upmarket, but the truth was that danger lurked in its underground parking lot. Not many people were aware that it was the scene of many sinister dealings.
A police officer called Arthur L. Doner was on the case. He was investigating the criminal activity that was taking place in Southwest Calgary. Even though he worked hard, he had a tough time finding anything concrete. We bet that it was a very frustrating situation for him to be in. It was not easy to look into this.
To The Rescue
Every single time that he would get a member, it felt like two more would pop up all of a sudden. Who would have thought that it was going to take four courageous teens to make a breakthrough in this case? On that night, something big happened. It helped Officer Doner figure out what he had to do next.
The skaters descended into the underground parking lot of the Chinook Centre. It is important to note that there were no security guards in the area on that night. The boys already knew this. When they got there that day, they checked to see if there was anything on patrol and found that the answer was no.
They Knew The Secret Spot
It felt like there was no better place to do mischief than the underground parking lot. This was part of the reason they practiced their skating tricks here. However, it turned out that they were not the only ones who knew this. How tragic is it to hear that people got up to more sinister things in that spot?
Looking For Something
Upon reviewing the CCTV footage, it was revealed that the men scoped out the parking lot when they got there. One would get the impression that they are looking for an object as they went up and down the area. But what about the girl? She stayed there with them while they went all over the garage.
In the end, they finally determined where it was. It turned out that they had been looking for a place. They saw the door that led to the stairwell and brought the girl inside with them. It was quite sinister to watch them close the door once all three of them were inside. What were they planning to do there?
The Empty Stairwell
The boys tried to be as quiet as possible when they entered the parking lot. For some reason, the garage felt emptier than it did earlier that day. Their gut told them to check behind the cars that were parked there. However, they failed to find the men and the girl by doing so. Where could they have gone?
A couple of minutes later, the boys finally saw the door that the men entered. It had not been a long time since the other group went in there. The boys remained hopeful that they were not going to find the men inside. After all, it would have meant that this situation was more real and urgent!
What They Found
Arnaud Nemenya was the one who opened the door. Before he pushed it open, he wanted to non-verbally tell the others that they should be ready for anything. Who knows what they were going to find there? When he finally pushed it open, all of them were shocked by what they saw on the stairwell…
We do not know what they had in mind, but they were still shocked by the sight that greeted them. Before this, they went through the dark underground garage to look for the men and the girl. They even checked the spots between the vehicles in case they were there. It turned out that they were here.
They Were Speechless
When they opened the door, many of the questions they had in their mind were answered. Despite this, there was no way for them to have prepared for anything like that. The men had not only been hiding in the dark spot of the Chinook Centre parking lot, but they were also doing something sinister down there.
The boys were able to make out the figures even though it was dark in the stairwell. Even though their bodies were telling them to run for their lives, they gathered the courage to do the right thing. For them, the most important thing was to help the girl and ensure that she was all right. What brave young men!
We are sure that anyone would have frozen in their shoes. Not only that, but the boys were full of disgust for the scene that greeted them as well. Arnaud Nimenya admitted that he “didn’t know what to do” at the time. It was a good thing that they came to their senses and pulled her away from the men.
Time To Leave
We are not shocked to hear that the two men were angry at them. Even though they pulled the girl away from these evil men, they still had no idea what was going on. The bigger man then tried to leave soon after the boys intervened. His accomplice ended up following suit when he did that.
Let us hear from the boys what happened after that. Arnaud Nimenya gave an account of how the two men responded to the arrival of the boys and the intervention. “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,” said the teen.
Going After Them
As you can imagine, the boys all felt scared about what was going on. It was too late for them to back out, and it might mean having to fight the men off. The two men went up the tight staircase, but the teens were on their tail. Three of them followed the men, but one stayed behind to take care of the girl.
Even though the men did their best to outrun the teens, their efforts proved to no avail. Soon enough, the three skaters caught them. The boys were not going to let such cruel and evil people get away with their crimes! They ended up on the streets after they all made it out of the Chinook Centre parking lot.
It was a good thing that there was already backup waiting for them. He got a tip that said the man he was after, together with an accomplice, was seen near the Chinook Centre. When he heard this, the police officer went to that part of Southwest Calgary. He was ready to finally catch this man in the act.
Last Ditch Effort
Officer Doner asked for backup, but it turned out that it was going to be easier than he thought. In fact, he did not have to do much because the man almost ran into him! This happened while the boys were chasing the two men. However, they were shocked when the men stopped and turned all of a sudden.
Police Were Waiting
The bigger of the two men then proceeded to fight them. He ripped a skateboard from their grip and tried to use it as a weapon. He tried to bludgeon the boys so that they could not come any closer. It was clear that he was getting desperate to get out of that mess.
Sadly, he did not expect that the police were already there to end his reign of terror. Officer Doner was already near when this was going on. We are relieved to hear that he interrupted the scene before the boys were harmed. He got out of his car and brought this gang member to the ground!
It was a big moment for Officer Doner as well. After all, he had been dreaming about this moment for a long time already. When backup finally got there, however, they could not find the other man. When the teens saw that the police were already on the case, they decided to get out of there.
They did not go home, however. No, the boys went to the underground parking lot of the Chinook Centre. The three boys were glad to see the girl and their other friend there. We are sure that they were all tired by then. After all, you do not rescue a girl and fight off a gang leader on the regular!
They first checked if the girl was all right. When they saw that she was safe, they decided that it was time for them to head home. However, this was not yet the end of the story. Soon after this happened, the boys began to receive phone calls from an unknown number. As you can imagine, this scared them.
They kept getting these strange phone calls, but they could not muster the courage to answer it. The boys suspected that it was coming from the accomplice that goy away. They had no idea how he found their numbers, however. The calls kept coming, but it was only a matter of time before they picked it up.
Scared At First
However, their theory was actually way off the mark. The truth was that the calls were coming from Chief Constable Roger Chaffin from the local police station. The boys had no idea that it was not from the gang member but from the police. This possibility did not even occur to them even once.
This was the reason they were all so surprised when they finally answered one of the calls. Not once did they suspect that it was actually the police trying to call them! Even though it was a relief to know that they were not being targeted by the gang, the boys were still quite fearful after finding out the truth.
It turned out that there was no reason for them to feel scared. The truth was that the boys were getting an award! Arnaud Nimenya explained what they had been thinking at first: “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
They also found out that the men they helped take down had a key role in this local gang. Members of the FOB gang were notorious for conducting shady dealings in that part of the city. Of course, the boys felt even more scared when they learned that this was the case.
There is no way of knowing what the girl would have experienced if the boys did not help her out. It took the Calgary police a long time to catch this man. Had it not been for their intervention, they would never have locked him up. In the past, he always managed to evade the cops.
Spilling The Details
When he was taken to custody, the gang member was ready to give them information about the gang. They were shocked but pleased. This man was ready to give up what he knew about the other members. Office Doner was thrilled that he was finally getting somewhere with the case after such a long time.
They Did The Right Thing
At long last, it was his opportunity to do something about the gang activity in this area of Calgary. Of course, the boys had a key role in this development. Thanks to them, it was now possible to find a solution to something that was putting the lives of so many people at risk!
The boys were invited to go to the Chief’s Award Gala. They were given recognition for the services that they did for Calgary. Chief Constable Roger Chaffin himself presented them the award. The boys claim that they did not do anything that other people wouldn’t. It was a good thing that they were so brave!
Calgary Chief’s Award Gala
The Chief’s Awards Gala is an event held by the Calgary Police Service every single year. They host it to award people, both civilians and members of the force, who did extraordinary things to help the people of Calgary. These people are truly like modern day heroes! We hope that more people act the same way.
When he got to talk, the Calgary 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.”
It is impossible to know what exactly you would do in a dangerous situation. No matter what, we hope that you will find the strength and courage to do the right thing. It is important to help one another out, so you better not walk away like that! The boys are truly admirable for what they did.
A Great Job
However, we do know that it takes an extraordinary amount of strength in order to stand up to someone else. This makes what the boys did all the more impressive. They decided to stand up to two men that they knew were bigger and stranger than they were. All this in order to help the poor girl!
Calgary Police Chief
At the gala, Police Chief Roger Chaffin delivered a speech to start the event. He was proud of all the Calgarians who went to great lengths to help their fellow citizens. “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,” he said.
The boys did something heroic on that night. There is no denying this. However, the truth is that they are not the only people who have done something like that. The other awardees also performed great acts of courage and bravery. Let us hear about the acts that they did to get such an incredible honor!
Not only did the four teenagers get an honorable award, but two more awards were given to other citizens. The first one was the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Valour. On the other hand, there was also the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Life Saving. The latter was awarded to the likes of Lee Copeland and Paul Butler.
Jasmine Simpson and Juan Dolph
Juan and Jasmine also received an award. They decided to help out someone that they knew was in danger. At a parking lot, they saw a man hit and yell at his ex-wife! They were even more shocked when they saw him pin her down as their kids watched them in horror. The pair stopped him and got in touch with the cops. On top of that, they stayed with her to ensure that she was all right.
When John Eddy was stuck in traffic, he saw how strange another driver was behaving. The other car did not move right away when the traffic lights changed. On top of that, it moved past the intersection and crashed into a sign! He went over and found out that the man had a heart attack while driving. He delivered CPR and saved the life of a stranger.
Let us hear what Erin O’Connor did to get an award. She saw a fight start in a parking lot. What was horrifying about this ordeal was that one of them was wounded very badly. She chased off the attacker and stayed with the injured one while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. She is a heroine!
When Paris Hazelwanter saw a drive-by shooting, it was like she forgot all about fear. She wanted to see if the woman in the most damaged car was all right. In order to do so, she had to dodge bullets! She also asked other bystanders to help. They managed to get the woman to safety and stayed with her until the arrival of the emergency responders.
Daxton Novak and Derek Wideman
There was a commotion going on at the apartment above that of Derek and Daxton. A neighbor was going through psychosis and dangled from her balcony. She was clinging onto the rails of the balcony, so they asked her to go through their own window. It was a good thing that they had the presence of mind to do this and kept her still until the police and paramedics arrived.
What a brave woman! Jessica Johnson risked her life so that she can save someone trying to take his own life. While on her bike, she noticed that a man was climbing on the dangerous side of the bridge. Right away, she halted and tried to talk him out of it. It was a good thing that she helped calm him down.
Sonia Hafeez Yousaf
At the age of 10, Sonia Hafeez Yousaf is much younger than the others. She helped save her mother when a business associate came in and assaulted the older woman after a heated discussion. Sonia went to the neighbor to ask for help. By doing this, the police got there in time to catch the attacker. We are happy that her mother managed to recover from this.
We also have Shirley Thiessen, who worked on the death notification course of the Calgary Police Service. This was meant to guide the cops when it comes to the delivery of horrible news. In 2012, the police did a bad job of telling their family about the death of her son. This only traumatized them further, so she decided to do something about it!
Constable Patty Desormeau
Patty Desormeau is another member of the force who received the award. She was the one to work on the Calgary Police Service self-registry for vulnerable persons as part of the CPS Diversity Resources Unit. The inspiration behind this was the Ontario autism registry! This was a good way to put the loved ones of vulnerable people at ease. In case of emergencies, the police can always contact them right away.
Nestor Aravena Bonastre
The Chief’s Awards Gala also honored Nestor Aravena Bonastre. He saw a teen on the edge of the bridge who wanted to take her own life. 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 also said, “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.”