It’s easy to say an alarming scene—a fighting couple, a distraught young girl—is none of our business. Our brains are wired to dismiss our gut feelings of danger and we think twice before contacting the police or other emergency services. But sometimes, heroic people do pick up the phone.
A Virginia construction worker, for instance, had his nerves tested one afternoon as he dug along a highway at the northern end of the state. A car speeding towards did something that would force him to really put his gut to the test.
As a construction worker along Virginia’s heavily trafficked I-95, Kevin Huntington, below, had seen more than a few dangers at work. But in July of 2015, he faced a danger unlike any other…
While doing contract work on the road, a car blazed down the highway at unsafe speeds… and then the passenger-side door opened.
An 18-year-old girl jumped from the car, landing hard on the grassy median where Kevin and his crewmates worked. “She came running up to us,” Kevin said, “and you could tell she was pretty distraught and terrified.”
As the car sped down the highway, the frantic girl screamed for the construction workers to call 9-1-1. Kevin asked if she was okay. She responded with a horrifying story.
The man driving the car, she said, had been trying to kill her. By jumping out of the car—a dangerous act of desperation—she saved herself. But only if Kevin and the construction workers could help.
Kevin did as the girl asked and called 9-1-1, and as he did so, the driver of the car pulled over on the highway shoulder. “I told her just stay behind me,” Kevin said, “and I wouldn’t let anything happen to her.”
The driver peered out of the car, also on the phone. For a moment, he assessed the situation, eyeballing Kevin, the girl, and the crew. Then, knowing he’d been thwarted by construction workers, he simply drove away…But who was he?
Well, when Kevin called the police, he notified them of a potential abduction. Authorities then pursued the man and eventually tracked him down.
The man was Aaron Berg, below, and police arrested him when the 18-year-old girl pressed a slew of charges against him, including kidnapping, strangling, and assault. This prompted Kevin to share a message with all who would listen.
“Pick up the phone and help somebody,” he said. “You never know whose life you may save.” But Kevin’s not the only brave soul with a story to share…
In 2011, Shelia, below, worked as a flight attendant on an Alaskan Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco. In the cabin at 35,000 feet, she noticed something peculiar.
A young, disheveled girl, maybe 14 or 15, sat beside a well-groomed older man. The stark contrast between the two unsettled the flight attendant. So she tried talking with the man.
The man responded defensively to every question she asked, and the little girl kept her arms crossed and eyes forward. She didn’t say a word. Something, Sheila knew, was most definitely wrong.
So she devised a plan. Covertly, she signaled to the young girl to go to the bathroom. The little girl got the message and when she made it inside, she found a pen and paper left by Sheila.
In the bathroom, the girl wrote a message on the notepad that read, “I need help.” She didn’t need to write anymore. Sheila contacted the pilot, who contacted the police in San Francisco. So what happened?
When the plane touched down, police waiting in the terminal arrested the well-dressed man. There, Sheila learned the heartbreaking truth of the situation.
The young girl was a victim of human trafficking… Sheila had saved her life! But naturally, the revelation shook the hero flight attendant: how many other children in similar situations had she failed to spot?
To help as many victims of trafficking as possible, Sheila started training flight attendants on how to spot vulnerable and victimized young kids on airplanes. She, like Kevin, had a message for the world.
“If you see something,” she said, “say something.” It’s really that simple. As Kevin and Sheila both discovered, trust your gut when something feels wrong or someone asks for help. It could save a life!
When you check out the video below, listen to how proud Kevin was that he saw something, picked up his phone, and said something. If you do the same, you might just save a life, too!
Calling the police in a strange situation might be uncomfortable, as we often find reasons to pretend nothing’s wrong. But it could save a life.
Share these human trafficking heroes with your friends below!