Society

Skateboarders See Rape Unfolding, Take Swift Action

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Arnaud Nimenya, Carsyn Wright, James Hielema and Starlyn Rives-PerezArnaud Nimenya, Carsyn Wright, James Hielema and Starlyn Rives-Perez

Four Calgary, Canada, skateboarders received awards for stopping the sexual assault of an underage girl.

On April 2, 2015, the young men, Arnaud Nimenya, Carsyn Wright, James Hielema and Starlyn Rivas-Perez, were in an underground parking garage at Chinook Mall when they saw a well-dressed man carrying a young woman who appeared to be very drunk and distraught, according to CBC News.

“She was screaming and yelling," Wright said. "She just wanted to be out of there."

The group stopped the man and asked him questions to determine if the girl was in safe hands. He told the group he was trying to phone her father for a ride home.

The men believed him, and then watched him take her into a nearby stairwell.

"You don't want to really think of the worst in somebody like that," Wright continued. "You don't want that situation to be real, so you just brush it off and hope for the best."

The four men left the area with the intention to return in a few minutes to check on the girl. When they did, they found the man sexually assaulting her in the stairwell.

“He had her in a stairwell, bent over ... it was disgusting,” Wright said.

The scene shocked Nimenya.

“You walk in, and you see something like that, and you freeze," he said. "You don’t know what to do."

“You can’t just leave a girl and like she was young, 15 years old," Wright said, according to Carbonated.TV. "She needed help and we needed to be there for her."

The group stopped the attack, and did not let the man get away.

“He was trying to walk out and walk away from us,” Nimenya told CBC News. “He pushed me aggressively out of the way, ... gives me the smile, like, ‘I can do this. You can’t do anything about it.’”

Three of the skateboarders chased the man down, while the fourth stayed with the girl.

The man fought back by attacking them with a longboard. The police soon arrived and arrested him for sexual assault of a minor.

The skateboarders were hesitant to speak with police because they thought they would be in trouble for fighting with the man.

“When they called us, we didn’t want to answer,” Nimenya said.

The police did not want to cause trouble for the skateboarders. Instead, authorities recognized them for their bravery and service.

Chief Const. Roger Chaffin gave each of the men an Award of Exceptional Recognition for their bravery at the Calgary Police Chief’s Awards Gala on June 2, Carbonated.TV reports.

Twenty-five other people were also recognized for acts they performed.

"This is the true nature of Calgarians," Chaffin said at the ceremony. "To be able to come out and see somebody in trouble and just act, selflessly act, to help other people out."

Sources: CBC News, Carbonated.TV / Photo credit: Twitter via Carbonated.TV

Did the skateboarders act bravely?
Yes - 100%
Yes - 0%