Tiny L.A. Crossing Guard Is Big Hero After Saving Child From Kidnapping
News| | By Valerie Cools
The presence of a crossing guard usually makes us feel a little bit safer. But one crossing guard went above and beyond her duty when she protected a little girl not from oncoming traffic, but from a would-be kidnapper.
Adrian Young was working her job in East Hollywood when she heard a child calling for help. The girl, 8, had been grabbed in front of her elementary school by a strange woman who was attempting to carry her away.
The girl was clearly resisting, screaming: “Please don’t let her take me. I don’t know her. She’s not my mom,” Young recounted to ABC7 News.
Young’s professional and maternal instincts kicked in. “I kind of went into mother mode at the time,” she said, “and as a crossing guard, because I couldn’t see myself letting this little girl be taken. I’m just grateful I was there.”
Young is only four-foot, eight-inches, but she didn’t hesitate to rush to the girl’s aid and tackle the kidnapper, who stood much taller than them both.
“I just told [the girl] to grab onto me as tight as she could, and I held onto her, and the lady just began to attack me. So I just thought about attacking her, to make sure she can’t take this little girl,” said Young.
Young then punched the woman, who released the child and escaped the scene.
Last Wednesday, Young was honored for her bravery by city council member Mitch O’Farrell, who declared: “Sometimes superheroes come in small packages. And because of her diligence, training, and awareness, and just because she cares so much about children, she prevented what could have been a kidnapping of a child.”
The little girl’s mother, Sharon Arellano, also expressed her gratitude to Young: “If it [wasn’t] for her, I wouldn’t know where my daughter would be right now,” she told CBS2.
The abductor was later arrested by police thanks to the description given by Young and the child. Identified as Maria Ramirez, 50, she has been charged with one count of felony kidnapping and is being treated for mental illness.