Are you the type of person who would not hesitate to help someone in need? If you said yes, that’s great. The heroes of the story are the same way! It is a good thing these kids trusted their gut because it might have meant the end for another person…
Just Another Day
Arnaud Nimenya, Starlyn Rives-Perez, Carsyn Wright, and James Hielema spent the day practicing their skating tricks at the underground parking lot. It was getting late, so it was time for the boys to go home.
That was the moment they saw a girl and two men headed for the parking garage. One thing that they took note of was how disorderly the teenage girl looked. The men were older than her as well.
When they got there, she was walking in front of one man. However, they changed this when they saw that they were not the only ones there. While not too alarming, something else made them worry.
Stop To Check
The boys had been on their way to leave the parking garage when they witnessed something that made them feel concerned and rethink their decision to go. What could have made them feel that way?
She Was Yelling
One of the boys explained, “She was screaming and yelling.” Carsyn Wright added, “She just wanted to be out of there.” The boys began to get more suspicious, and who can blame them after seeing 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,” recalled Wright. They paid closer attention to the group and asked them what was going on.
The boys outnumbered the two men but could not help but feel intimidated by them. They had no idea what would happen if things went wrong. The bigger of the two men said he was her father.
Had To Trust Them
The teens took it as their cue to back off. Maybe he discovered her doing something she was not supposed to be doing. In the end, she did not ask for their help. They assumed it must be the truth.
It was getting pretty late already, and the boys needed to return home. With their skateboards, they decided to just leave. After all, the easiest thing they could possibly do was to believe what he said.
Nighttime In Calgary
Despite this, not one of the four boys could shake off the feeling that there was something wrong here. While Calgary is pretty safe, it did not mean that bad things would not happen at all.
It was true that the girl appeared intoxicated, but they began to feel more uneasy about what happened as they thought about it some more. Perhaps they were wrong to have backed down so quickly.
They did not like the way that the way confidently said he was her father. As a matter of fact, the man said this in a pretty arrogant way. It did not seem like something a father would actually do.
“She was all scuffed up and dirty,” Carsyn recalled. It did not seem like everything was going well for the men and the girl. They were especially shocked when they saw the man hoist the girl up on his shoulder.
They Had To Know
They saw that she had been resisting. The boys could all feel the instinct to return to the underground parking garage. Could they actually stand to leave the girl in the state they found her in?
The more they thought about it, the more they felt convinced that something was off. Something told them that the three people did not even really know one another. Besides, what were they doing there?
Running To Help
Clearly, there was something sinister at play here. The boys then rushed back to the underground parking lot. They hoped they were not yet too late. They dashed back as soon as they possibly could!
Wright convinced the others when he 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 outside the parking lot, they did not see the trio anywhere. Of course, this meant only one thing. If they wanted to get to the bottom of things, they needed to enter the parking garage.
The teens did not have a single clue that the men were not who they appeared to be. By entering the underground parking lot of the Chinook Centre that day, they entered the dark underbelly of Calgary.
No Going Back
It was too late for regrets. In reality, the area had a growing problem. Even though the shopping center looked upmarket from the outside, there was something terrifying that had been hiding below the mall.
At the time, Officer Arthur L. Doner had been conducting research on crime in that area of Calgary. Sadly, he was having a hard time. He could not turn up anything useful about the rival gangs in the area.
To The Rescue
Each time that he took down one member, it felt like two more popped up all of a sudden. He had no idea that his big break would arrive when four teens tried to take down Hydra by themselves.
They walked slowly in the garage because it was dark down there. There were no security guards on duty on that day. In fact, this was the very reason they chose to practice skating that day!
They Knew The Secret Spot
It sure sounds like the parking lot was the best place to go if one wanted to get up to some mischief. The men decided to take advantage of this as well. The boys needed to be sneaky to find them.
Looking For Something
Watch the footage and you will see the men going all over the parking lot. It seemed like they were searching for something in particular. The girl, on the other hand, stayed with them as they did that.
In the end, it seemed like the men found what they were looking for. They managed to open the door that led to the stairwell. They escorted the girl inside and then shut the door behind them.
The Empty Stairwell
The teens went back to the parking garage and tried to move without making any noise. The place felt emptier than it usually did. They first checked behind the parked vehicles but found nothing there.
After several minutes, they also discovered the same stairwell that the men did. Yes, it was the same door that the trio went through only moments prior. Were they going to find them inside this door?
What They Found
Arnaud had his hand ready on the door handle. He hoped that every one of his friends would be ready for what might be hiding behind this door. He opened it at long last. What they found shook them all.
They did not expect to see what they saw. They checked the underground parking garage and looked for them between the cars. There were many hiding places in there, so the men could be hiding anywhere.
They Were Speechless
Despite all of this, they only saw the men when they opened the door to the stairwell. The boys were not prepared for the moment that greeted them. What could they have seen in the stairwell?
It was dark, but they could make out their silhouettes in the darkness. Even though they wanted to run, there was no chance that they would leave the girl to deal with this all by herself.
The boys were disgusted by what they saw the men do to the girl. Arnaud Nimenya admitted that he “didn’t know what to do.” When they snapped out of the shock, they interfered for the sake of the girl.
Time To Leave
The men were furious with them. Still, the boys had no clue what was going on at that moment. The taller guy then fled the stairwell. Of course, the other man decided to do the same thing.
Nimenya then said, “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.” The boys were not going to let such a thing happen!
Going After Them
The boys were scared, but they knew that there was nothing to do but put up a fight. Three of the four followed the men out of the staircase. One stayed behind to comfort the girl.
The men tried to outrun the skateboarders, but the boys eventually caught up. It was not like the teens were going to let them get away with what they had been doing down there! The chase was on.
Officer Arthur Doner was already prepared for that moment. Someone tipped him off that the man was in the Chinook Centre area. As soon as he heard this, he went to the southwestern suburbs of the city.
Last Ditch Effort
The officer asked for backup. In the end, however, he did not need any since he located the gang leader in no time at all. The man almost ran into his cruiser! At that moment, the boys were still chasing them.
Police Were Waiting
The bigger man then turned to face them and began a fight. He ripped off one of their skateboards and started attacking the boys with it. Clearly, they were starting to feel desperate by then.
Unfortunately for him, Officer Doner was already in the vicinity then. Before he could harm the boys seriously, the cop intervened. He got out of the car and wrestled the bigger guy to the ground.
At long last, the officer got his wish! On the downside, the second man managed to escape. When the teens saw that everything was under control there, they made a beeline for the parking garage.
They reached the parking lot in no time at all. They saw their friend and the poor girl there. At the time, they did not have a single clue that they just fought off a gang leader!
They made sure the girl was alright before they decided to call it a day. The boys went home at last. However, they soon started getting phone calls! Who could possibly be on the other end of the line?
The phone calls continued to come, but they were all way too scared to answer it. For all they knew, it was probably the accomplice. They did know where he got their contact information, however.
Scared At First
Chief Const. Roger Chaffin had been trying to get in touch with the boys to no avail. He only wanted to thank them for their efforts and bravery. As you can see, the boys had no clue that this was the case.
The boys eventually picked it up. They were totally shocked to hear what the officer had to say to them! They were all relieved and surprised, but they also felt a little scared at the same time.
Nimenya explained why they were all so surprised to hear about the honor: “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
The man turned out to be a big figure in the local Calgary gang. The FOB gang was notorious for its various dealings in that part of the city. The boys felt scared when they heard about this.
If it were not for them, however, the girl would probably in an even worse situation. The police had been trying to catch the man in question for many months. This was the only time they succeeded.
Spilling The Details
They brought the man to custody. He had no hesitations about spilling the beans about his gang! He seemed ready to cooperate with Officer Doner every step of the way. The cop could not believe it.
They Did The Right Thing
At last, he finally had a way to address the gang problems in the city. Without the boys, this would not have happened. He was glad that he could finally help improve the lives of many families in Calgary.
The boys were asked to go to the Chief’s Award Gala. They were going to be recognized for their services to the city! Everyone took pride in these young men who risked their lives for the greater good.
Calgary Chief’s Award Gala
The Calgary Police Service hosts this event every single year. This is done to honor the citizens who did something for the city. Most of them displayed courage and commitment to Calgary in some way.
During an interview, Police Chief Chaffin 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”.
Would you have done the same thing that the boys did? Would you have turned a blind eye to the issue? It is impossible to say for sure, but we hope that you would not be scared to step up if need be.
A Great Job
It is no secret that it can be hard to stand up to someone else. Can you imagine doing that to two people? If the boys did not stand up for what they thought was right, the girl would be in a worse place.
Calgary Police Chief
During the gala, the Police Chief gave a speech to start the night. 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.”
The heroic act they did was truly impressive, but there were many other amazing people who did admirable deeds. The other recipients of the award were Juan Dolph, Jasmine Simpson, Erin O’Connor, and John Eddy.
There was more than this. They gave out two more awards to worthy citizens of the city. There was the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Valour and the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Life Saving.
Jasmine Simpson and Juan Dolph
Let us take a look at the story of the other winners! Jasmine and Juan witnessed a man physically hurting his ex-wife while the kids were in plain sight. The two of them intervened and called the police. They also stayed with the woman until the authorities got there.
John noticed that a car was not moving as expected. It even crashed into a sign right on the curb! He came up to see if the driver was alright. The man had a heart attack, so John gave him life-changing CPR.
Erin got the award for her bravery as well. She had been the witness of a fight that broke out in a parking lot. She chased off the attacker and stayed with the injured man until the ambulance got there.
Paris was incredible during a drive-by shooting she witnessed. She helped the victim, dodged oncoming bullets, and instructed what the other bystanders should do. She stayed with the woman until emergency services got there. What an incredible story that must have been.
Daxton Novak and Derek Wideman
They had to deal with the woman living in the apartment right above theirs. She was hysterical and suffering from drug-induced psychosis. She dangled from her balcony, and they helped her climb down right into their own place. When the police got there, she tried to flee again. Luckily, they stopped her.
Jessica saved the life of a man as well. She even risked her life when she saw this man climb the far side of the railing on the bridge. She talked to him and kept him company until emergency services got there.
Sonia Hafeez Yousaf
Sonia was a 10-year-old girl when she was given the award. At the time, her mother got assaulted by her former business associate. She went to the neighbor and asked for help. It was a good thing that the police got there in time to apprehend the assailant! Her mother managed to recover in due time.
Shirley Thiessen got the award too. She worked on the death notification course of the Calgary Police Service. In 2012, she had to deal with the knowledge that her son died in a workplace accident. It was exacerbated by the way they told her about it. She decided to help educate others about this instead.
Constable Patty Desormeau
Constable Patty Desormeau received the award as well. Inspired by the Ontario autism registry, she worked on the vulnerable persons self-registry of the Calgary Police Service. It was definitely helpful for people with disabilities and their caregivers.
Nestor Aravena Bonastre
Nestor was also recognized during the gala. He found a teen girl on the bridge who wanted to end her life. The police narrated, “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.”