When you realize that another person needs help, the honorable thing to do is to help them. However, it is not always easy to do something like this. At any rate, we are just glad that the heroes of the story decided to do everything they could to help a stranger! Read on to see how these teenagers saved the day… and maybe even the city.
Just Another Day
James Hielema, Arnaud Nimenya, Carsyn Wright, and Starlyn Rives-Perez met up to spend the day at the skate park at the underground parking lot. It was beginning to get late, so they planned to head home soon.
It was then that they noticed a teenage girl and two older men crossing the lawn to reach the parking garage. What stood out to them was how disorderly she looked at the moment. What was going on?
In the beginning, the girl had been walking right in front of the men. However, things changed upon the realization that there were others there. This was no cause for alarm, but what happened next was.
Stop To Check
The skaters were planning to leave the underground parking garage. However, they then saw something that made them all stop all of a sudden. What could they have seen that made them do a double-take?
She Was Yelling
One of the teens recalled, “She was screaming and yelling.” Carsyn Wright also said, “She just wanted to be out of there.” The skaters started to feel more and more suspicious, and it is easy to see why.
They Were Intimidated
“The guy was dressed in very nice clothes… and the girl was all dirty, she was crying, her nose was bleeding,” recounted Wright. The boys began to pay more attention and asked them for an explanation.
There were four of them and only two of the men. Still, they felt intimidated by the older guys. Who knew what could happen if everything went wrong? The bigger guy claimed that he was the father.
Had To Trust Them
The boys decided to back off after hearing that. Perhaps he saw his daughter drunk or doing some illegal behavior. They stayed away because she did not ask for help after that. Perhaps it really was the truth.
It was already getting rather late, and the teens had to go home already. They gathered their things and set aside their doubts. They wanted to leave and forget. It was not that hard to believe the man.
Nighttime In Calgary
However, the truth is that the boys all felt bothered about what happened. Calgary is generally safe, but they knew that bad things happened everywhere in the world. Did the man tell them the truth or not?
They could not deny that the girl appeared intoxicated. Could her father have caught her doing something she should not be doing? Still, the boys felt uneasy about what they saw in the parking lot.
They were bothered by how confident the man seemed when he claimed to be her father. In fact, you might even say that he said it in an arrogant way. This did not sound like normal behavior at all.
“She was all scuffed up and dirty,” explained Carsyn. They could tell that things were tense between the girl and the two men. What shocked them the most was the moment the man carried her on a shoulder.
They Had To Know
Aside from that, the girl had been resisting them. The teens all felt the instinct to head back to the parking lot. Perhaps they could check if everything was all right down there once more…
The harder the boys thought about the situation, the more they suspected that something was amiss. Did the men and girl even know each other? What did they plan to do in the parking lot anyway?
Running To Help
They knew in their hearts that something bad was happening here. The teens then dashed back to the underground parking garage as quickly as they could. Hopefully, the realization did not hit them too late.
Wright was the one to convince them. 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
They could not find the men and girl when they got outside the parking garage. They knew exactly what they needed to do. They had no other choice but to enter the garage and look for the trio there.
The boys had no idea that the men they saw were more than what they seemed. When they got to the underground parking garage of the Chinook Centre, they were actually in Calgary’s dark underbelly!
No Going Back
By then, the point of return was no longer in sight. There was a big problem the area was facing. While the mall might seem upmarket, it was hiding something terrifying and dark behind the scenes.
Officer Arthur L. Doner had been researching the rise of crime in Southwest Calgary. However, he could not find anything useful. It was starting to feel like the dealings of the gangs were only a mythical beast.
To The Rescue
Whenever he managed to take down a member, it seemed like two more would get there. Back then, he did not know that his big break would come when four young men tried to bring down Hydra.
The boys walked slowly as they inspected the dark garage below the Chinook Centre. On that day, the lot did not have a security guard. As a matter of fact, that was the very reason they went there.
They Knew The Secret Spot
Without a doubt, the parking garage was an ideal place if you planned to do all kinds of antic. The boys knew that this was the case, but so did the men. Unfortunately, their brand of fun was not harmless.
Looking For Something
The CCTV footage revealed that the two men looked around the parking lot. It was clear that they had been trying to look for something there. As they did that, the girl remained with them.
Finally, the men found what they had been looking for all that time. They pushed open the door to the stairwell. They brought the girl inside, went through the stairwell, and closed the door shut.
The Empty Stairwell
When the boys returned to the parking lot, they crept and moved as quietly as possible. The entire place seemed emptier than it did the last time. They looked behind the parked cars but did not see anything.
It took them a couple of minutes before they saw the same stairwell. Only a short while before this, the two men entered through this door with the women. What were they going to see there?
What They Found
Arnaud was ready to open the door handle. However, he wanted to ensure that his pals would be ready for anything that could be behind the door. At last, it was time for the moment of truth. He opened it.
They were completely shocked by the sight that welcomed them. The boys went all over the parking garage to look for the group. They knew that the men could have been anywhere in the darkness.
They Were Speechless
Even though this was the case, the teens only found the men when they pushed open the stairwell door. They were not at all prepared for what they found there. Let us see what happened after that…
It might have been dark in there, but the boys still saw the silhouettes of the men. While they all wanted to flee, it did not sit well with them to leave the poor girl when they could help her out.
The four boys were frozen in shock and disgust when they saw what they were doing to the girl. Arnaud Nimenya later said he “didn’t know what to do.” When the spell broke, they helped the girl out.
Time To Leave
Of course, the two men were angry for the interruption. Despite this, they had no idea what was going on. The taller guy made a move to get away from there physically. His friend followed suit.
Nimenya recounted, “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 teens were not about to let a thing like that happen.
Going After Them
They could not help but feel scared but knew that this was the only thing they could do at the moment. Three boys followed the two men out of the door. One remained to stay with the girl.
The two men attempted to outrun the boys, but the young men always managed to catch up. As you can see, the teens were dedicated to making sure that justice was served. The chase went on some more.
Officer Arthur Doner was actually prepared for this moment. He got a tip that this man was seen in the Chinook Centre area. When he learned this, he immediately drove the car to that part of the city.
Last Ditch Effort
He asked for backup but was surprised to see that he found the gang leader pretty soon. The man in question even ran into the car! At the time, the boys were still pursuing the two men.
Police Were Waiting
The bigger of the two men turned towards the boys and began to fight them physically! He tore a skateboard from their grip and attacked them with it. As you can see, he was getting desperate.
It was his bad luck that Officer Doner was lying in wait the entire time. Before the boys could get hurt by the man, the policeman interfered. He exited his car and then brought the man to the ground.
Finally, the officer finally caught the man he had been chasing for a long time. Unfortunately, the other man managed to flee the scene right away. After this, the boys then made a dash for the parking lot.
They got to the parking lot as soon as they could. They found their friend and the girl down there. When this happened, they had no idea that they fought a leader of a gang.
They checked to see if the girl was fine before they finally went home. However, it looks like things were not yet over for them. They began to get phone calls not long after that!
The phone calls kept coming no matter what. They all felt too scared to pick up the calls. In all likelihood, it was most likely the accomplice. At least this was what they did the entire time.
Scared At First
Chief Const. Roger Chaffin was attempting to contact the teenagers to thank them for their courage and efforts. However, the boys did not have a single clue that this was what was happening at the time.
In the end, the boys finally picked up a call. They could not believe what they head through the phone! Even though they were glad and relieved, there was also a feeling of fear in the mix.
Nimenya said that he could not believe they were getting honored. He said, “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
It turns out that the man they helped apprehend was an important person in the FOB gang. This local gang was notorious for its different dealings all over Calgary. The teens were shocked to hear that.
If the boys had not been around, who knows what would have happened to the girl? The police worked to catch this man for a lot of months. This was the first time that they succeeded in doing so!
Spilling The Details
When they brought this gang leader to custody, he was ready to fully cooperate with the authorities. In fact, he was ready to divulge the way the gang operated! Officer Doner still could not believe his luck.
They Did The Right Thing
Finally, Officer Doner could do something about the issues that plagued the city. This would have been impossible without the help of the boys, of course. At last, he could help improve the situation there!
The teens received invitations to attend the Chief’s Award Gala. There, they would be honored for their courage and services to Calgary. Everyone was proud of these brave young men who did the right thing.
Calgary Chief’s Award Gala
The Calgary Police Service holds this event every year as a way to thank the citizens who displayed commitment and courage. They honored the efforts that people put into making the city a better place.
Here was what Police Chief Chaffin said in an interview: “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”.
Do you think you could be as brave as those boys in that situation? Or do you think you would simply have walked away? Without a doubt, the boys are more courageous than most people out there.
A Great Job
Each and every single one of us knows that it is difficult to stand up to a person. Needless to say, it would be even harder to do that to two people. The boys decided to act bravely despite this.
Calgary Police Chief
The Police Chief started the gala night by giving a speech. 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.”
What the boys did had been very impressive, but other people did something equally heroic. The other people to receive the award were none other than Juan Dolph, Jasmine Simpson, John Eddy, and Erin O’Connor.
It does not end there, however. They also gave out the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Valour, and the Award of Exceptional Recognition for Life Saving to those who were worthy of the incredible honor.
Jasmine Simpson and Juan Dolph
Shall we take a peek at what the other winners did? Jasmine and Juan saw a man hurting his ex-wife in the parking lot. Even worse, the kids had been in the backseat the whole time. They intervened, called the authorities, and remained with the woman until the authorities arrived.
John was concerned when a car did not move after the lights went green. It then crashed into the curb! He checked up on the driver and learned that the man got a heart attack. John then administered CPR.
Erin was awarded for the time that she saw a fight happen in a parking lot. One man attacked another person viciously. She then chased the assailant and helped the injured one until an ambulance arrived!
Can you believe that she dodged bullets to help a complete stranger? She saw a drive-by shooting and did her best to help the woman victim. She and the other bystanders worked together to help her out until the arrival of emergency services.
Daxton Novak and Derek Wideman
Derek and Daxton helped out the hysterical woman who lived right above their apartment. She had been dangling from her 6th-floor balcony when this happened. It was a good thing that they managed to bring her into their apartment. She tried to run when the police arrived, but they managed to stop her.
Jessica managed to save the life of another person. She risked her life to help out a man who climbed the far end of the bridge railing. She spoke to him and stayed with him until emergency services arrived.
Sonia Hafeez Yousaf
Sonia received the award even though she was only 10 years old! What happened? Her mother got into an argument with an ex-business associate who then assaulted her. The little girl asked for help from her neighbor and contacted the police. It’s a good thing they caught the suspect. The mother recovered too.
They honored Shirley Thiessen for the death notification course for the Calgary Police Service as well. In 2012, she actually got to hear about her son’s passing from the police. However, they did this so poorly that it only made things worse for the family. She decided to educate others about this important topic.
Constable Patty Desormeau
Constable Patty Desormeau was another recipient of the award for her work on the vulnerable persons self-registry for the Calgary Police. The CPS Diversity Resources Unit member did this to help people with disabilities. Her efforts definitely paid off!
Nestor Aravena Bonastre
Nestor was one more person who got recognized at the event. He saw a teenage girl who wanted to jump from the bridge. The police recounted, “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.”