Just Another Day
For four Canadian boys, it was just another night at the underground parking garage. They used it as an impromptu skate park and were having a great time practicing their tricks. But it was getting late, and the boys needed to head home soon.
However, their night took a quick turn as they left the parking lot. The suspicious sight outside had them stopping in their tracks.
An Unusual Sight
There was a girl and two older men walking over the grass and approaching the parking garage. The girl was clearly upset, and one of the men was being rather forceful with her.
He was walking behind her at first, but then he seemed to pick up on the fact that they weren't alone. The scene was odd but not enough to arouse the boys' suspicions. Well, not until they noticed something else about the girl.
She Was Yelling
According to Carsyn Wright, one of the four boys, “She was screaming and yelling. She just wanted to be out of there.” That was enough for the boys to grow suspicious.
The four boys then turned their attention to the men. They wanted an explanation for what was going on, and they wouldn't be leaving without one. So they confronted them.
Perfectly Reasonable Explanation
When questioned by the boys, the larger man stated that he was the girl's father. The boys assumed that she might've been caught drinking while underaged or something down that line, and they backed off.
The girl didn't go against the men either. She didn't ask the boys for help or go against what the man said, so the boys decided to drop it. But something about the situation just didn't feel right.
Preparing To Head Home
It was already later than they planned on leaving, and the boys needed to get home. They packed up their stuff and started making their way back. It was easy to believe the man after all, and since the girl didn't disagree with him, there wasn't much to question anymore.
Yet the boys couldn't shake the feeling that something was wrong about the whole situation. In their guts, they knew that something just wasn't right.
All In The Details
When the boys looked at the girl, she did seem intoxicated. But the more they thought about the interaction, the more their suspicions grew. They started wondering if they might've backed down too quickly.
The large man who claimed to be her father was overly confident, even bordering arrogant. Do father's really act like that? Suddenly, a very unsettling detail dawned on them, and it had them questioning the whole situation again.
Carsyn remembered that “She was all scuffed up and dirty.” From the looks of it, the boys could tell that she had been struggling against the man for a while. Then the man decided to end the conversation by hoisting her over his shoulder as if she were a bag of potatoes. But that didn't stop her from trying to resist him.
The boys' instincts were gnawing at them to go back, and they knew they'd never forgive themselves if they walked away.
The Story Doesn't Add Up
The more the boys thought about what they saw, the more pieces didn't seem to add up. They had gotten to the point where they wondered if the party of three knew each other at all. And even if they did, what were they doing outside an underground parking lot at such an hour?
Dread washed over all four of them at once. There had to be something darker going on than they suspected. The boys picked up their pace and rushed back to the parking lot, hoping they weren't too late.
They Hoped For The Best
Even though the boys admitted they weren't convinced by what they saw, Wright also 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.”
However, the boys' instincts didn't allow them to brush it off. But when they got back to the parking lot, the three people they were looking for were nowhere to be seen. It didn't take the boys long to figure out where they went, though. If they weren't outside, they could only have gone inside.
However, the boys didn't know that there was much more to the situation than met the eye, especially when it came to the two men. When the four of them walked into the underground parking lot of the Chinook Center, they unknowingly entered Calgary's much darker underground. Unfortunately, there would be no turning back now.
Beneath the up-market mall's exterior, a growing problem in the community was brewing. It was something far bigger and darker than the boys ever could've imagined.
A Seedy Underworld
Officer Arthur L. Doner had been investigating a spike in criminal activity in Southwest Calgary, but various stings and searches had proved fruitless.
The rival gangs’ dealings in the area had reached terrifying proportions, and just like a mythical beast, he’d take down one member only to have two more arrive – seemingly from nowhere. He had no clue that four skateboarders were about to try to take on the Hydra by themselves.
The boys walked slowly into the darkness beneath the Chinook Centre. They already knew that there were no security guards posted today – they had scoped the lot gleefully before they had taken up their skateboards that very afternoon.
The underground lot was the perfect place to get up to mischief. Unfortunately, the men had known this, too.
Up To No Good
The CCTV footage of the men shows them pacing up and down among the parking spaces, searching for something. The girl is with them as they look for the most out-of-the-way corner, then they spot precisely what they are looking for.
They open the door to the stairwell and escort the girl inside, and all three disappear as it closes behind them.
An Empty Stairwell
The boys quietly crept into the underground lot. It was eerily empty on this particular day. Their first instincts were to look behind what few cars were parked, but they couldn’t see the trio anywhere.
After a few minutes they made their way to the stairwell, and all four prayed that they wouldn’t be there. It was all getting a little too real for comfort.
Into The Darkness
Arnaud stood still, with his hand on the door handle as he gave the others a look that told them to be ready. In one swift movement, he swiped it down and flung the door open.
But what the boys found inside the stairwell left them reeling. They could never have prepared for something like this.
The boys had 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. But the boys had no idea just who they were tangling with.
Dirty And Furious
The taller man, thwarted, tried to leave the situation altogether, washing 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 Calgary. Suddenly, they were on them. They had nowhere left to run.
Officer Doner was ready. He had gotten a tipoff that the man he had been watching carefully had been spotted near the Chinook Centre, along with one of his cohorts.
He sped through the affluent streets of the southwestern suburb until he saw the enormous building outlined against the evening sky. He radioed for backup, but he didn’t have to search for the suspected leader of the gang for long. He practically ran into the side of his car.
With the teenagers in hot pursuit of the men, they turned to face the teenagers. That’s when the larger of the two 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, Officer Doner was only a few feet away.
Before the man could do serious harm to the boys, Officer Doner got involved. He leaped out of the car and wrestled the man to the ground. He couldn’t believe it. He finally had him.
However, by the time backup had arrived the second man was long gone — back into whatever hidey-hole he had come from. But what about our heroes?
After seeing the police car, they instinctively ran. They sprinted all the way back to the parking lot, where they found the last boy comforting the girl who had just had such a harrowing ordeal. They had no idea that they had just tangled with a notorious gang leader.
Making sure she was safe, sound, and unscathed, the boys returned home. But then, the phone calls began.
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 but also a little fearful.
The man that they had gotten arrested was none other than a key figure in the gang that had been plaguing Calgary for years. The members of the FOB gang were well-known for their unsavory dealings. The boys shuddered to think about what dark fate they had in store for the girl that they had rescued.
The police of Calgary had been trying to catch the man for months, but he had somehow managed to evade them.
Spilling The Beans
When the man was brought into custody and interrogated, he spilled all the details on his fellow gang members. From addresses to a list of crimes, it was all there. Officer Doner was floored.
Finally, he had an inroads to tackling the gangs that plagued Calgary. And all thanks to four brave young boys! But how could the police force repay them?
The four boys were invited to attend the Chief’s Award Gala in recognition of 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. It was just what human decency called for. 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? But that isn’t all.
This type of thing happens way more often than you would think. There are plenty of anonymous heroes walking the streets every day, people who wouldn't hesitate to act if they perceived someone as being in distress or danger.
One of those people is a teenage boy from Montreal, Canada, named Jamal Bonnet. This is his story:
As he walked to the bus station from the restaurant after the end of his shift, Jamal could hear the screaming and yelling from several yards away.
The closer he got, the louder it became. It was obvious that there was something going on. Still, when he arrived at the scene, Jamal saw that the situation was way more critical than he expected. Now he had to act fast.
Jamal Bonnet is a 17-year-old boy who, aside from being a high school student, is also a waiter in one of Montreal's restaurants.
For all his short life, he's always tried to do the right thing: he's always done well in school and tries to be the son his mom would be proud of. And he does so for a very special reason.
Not many people knew, but Jamal's background was quite a troubled one. Even though he was just 17, his life had been anything but a path strewn with roses.
He grew up with his mother and his brother in one of the most depressed neighborhoods on the West Side of Montreal. Growing up, he saw a lot of things a kid should never have to see, and they shaped his personality forever.
At 17 years of age, Jamal was very well aware of how dangerous and cruel the world could be. That's why he always did his best to stay away from trouble and make a decent future for himself.
However, there was one further reason why he acted and thought that way. The dangerous street life was something he was no stranger to.
Jamal's older brother, Nasir, had been a victim of street life himself. The kid remembered his brother arguing with their mom about his friends, who she said was a bad influence on him.
As it turned out, she was right. When Jamal was in sixth grade, his brother Nasir got sent to county jail for his involvement in a robbery ring.
Making His Mom Proud
Jamal's life never was the same after that happened. From then on, his resolve to do good in life and make his mother proud became even stronger.
Now, he knew how cold and dangerous the world could be. However, Nothing could have ever prepared him for what he found that evening after his shift at the restaurant.
At The Bus Stop
Jamal was walking down the street on his way to the bus stop, ready to go home after a long day. He always went to bed early; he had to get his eight hours of sleep before high school, and then he had to go to the restaurant after class.
But as he got closer and closer to the bus stop, some noise he heard from the distance became more and more distinct: there was someone screaming and yelling.
A Couple Fighting
He finally arrived at the bus stop and realized what was going on: there was a couple fighting there. As Jamal got to the bus stop, the couple seemingly calmed down.
However, the drama had just begun. Soon enough, the couple turned to Jamal and said something to him that would be the start of a startling chain of events.
They asked him for bus fare for the town of Laval. Right then, Jamal felt like there was something fishy about the whole situation.
However, he agreed to go to a convenience store nearby to break his bills so the couple could get their tickets. However, right while Jamal was talking to the man at the store's counter, something happened.
The man who accompanied the girl went outside for a minute. In the meantime, the girl told Jamal what was really going on.
She told him that he was holding her against her will, that he wouldn't let her go home, and that she needed help. "That's when I knew something was really wrong, and I needed to help," says Jamal. So he devised a plan.
After giving them the change for their bus tickets, Jamal said he was going to Laval as well. That wasn't true, but it was all a part of his scheme.
"My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn't hurt her. I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game, and he seemed to trust me," said Bonnet. However, there was something Jamal didn't know.
The Police Were Looking For Them
The police were already looking for the man. "We had been looking for a 29-year-old woman who had been reported kidnapped by her former boyfriend," said Lt. Daniel Guerin of the Laval Police Department days later.
"We knew that the man was not stable. He was recently in jail for violence and had been found guilty of assault and threats against her."
He Set His Plan In Motion
So the three of them got off the bus in Laval. Then, Jamal invited the couple to eat something with him at a diner nearby. He knew they would accept; the woman eagerly said yes, and the man didn't want to cause a scene or raise suspicions.
So after they got to the diner, sat at the table, and ordered their food, Jamal did what he had to do.
"I borrowed a cell phone from someone because mine had died and told police that it was an emergency, that someone had been kidnapped and they were at this restaurant," he explains.
However, at one moment during his call, something happened that made his heart skip a beat. The man was staring at him from the table. Then, he got up and walked up to him.
“What’s The Matter?”
"What's the matter?" he asked. Paralyzed with fear and anxiety, Jamal hesitated for a couple of seconds before replying, "nothing. I'm just calling a taxi." Would the man buy that explanation, or could he feel something fishy?
Apparently, he was satisfied with Jamal's story. He went back to the table. Just five minutes later, there were two police cars in front of the restaurant.
Immediately, the police arrested the man and took the woman with them to ask her some questions. Jamal didn't have time to talk to the woman right after he made the call.
However, before she left in a police car, he spotted something. "We made eye contact, and she had tears in her eyes. She was really happy," he says.
"He's a real hero, we all think," said Lt. Guerin. "His quick actions may have saved this young woman's life. He now has 500 new friends in our department."
"I don't think of myself as a hero, I'm just a normal guy," says Jamal. "I guess I saved a life, though, and that's really awesome."
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.