It may seem as though crossing guards have one job to get people from one side of the road to another, but their overall goal is to promote safety, and sometimes that means they have to go above and beyond their routine duties. One Kelly, California crossing guard proved this to be true, and she heard a child begging for help. The crossing guard relied on both her patrolling knowhow and her fierce motherly instinct to save the eight year old from impending danger.
Measuring in at just 4ft eight inches, Adrian Young might not have the imposing stature one would expect of a person tasked with directing traffic. But in August 2016, she had no trouble going about her job guiding drivers and pedestrians to safely travel to and from an East Hollywood elementary school. However, that summer day would require her to do more than just help parents and students cross the road. Young had just finished work when she heard a child begging her for help. She later recalled to KTLA that the child was repeatedly crying, please help me, Miss Crossing Guard. Please help me.
On the surface, the child’s situation would not have seemed like a dangerous or out of the ordinary one. Rather, she was holding hands with an adult and appeared to be heading home after a day at school. But her tearful plea for help proved something was terribly awry. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, maria Ramirez, 50, approached the young girl at the end of the day. She gripped the child by the hand and held on tight. Come on, come on, she said, guiding her away from school grounds. The child instantly knew she was in danger.
She did not know the woman whose hand she was holding. By the time she reached Young, she was panicking. The little girl just started screaming. The little girl just started screaming. She was like, Please don’t let her take me. I don’t know her. She’s not my mom young told ABC Seven News. Young didn’t hesitate to assist a helpless child who couldn’t free herself from her mirrors’grasp. I kind of went into mother mode at that time and as a crossing guard because I just couldn’t see myself letting this little girl be taken.
But the odds were stacked against the diminutive crossing guard and the child in. Need, and she kept saying, Please help me, Miss Crossing Guard. Please help me. Her solution? Young recalls that she instructed the eight. Year old, hold on to me as tight as she can. Do not let go, because both of us were very small and the lady was bigger than me. The alleged kidnapper wasn’t willing to give up without a fight, Young told ABC Seven News. So I kept telling the lady, Let her go, and I grabbed on to the little girl, and I told her to grab me and hold me as tight as she can. It was actually a fight. It ended up being a fight because she started getting agitated.
That’s when the crossing guard went on the offensive, punching Ramirez until she released her grip on the child. With her quick thinking and fearless attempts to fight the stranger away, young saved the 80 yearold from a would be kidnapping. Afterward, the community lauded Young for her heroic decision. Colleen Riley, a woman who lived in the neighborhood, said, I’m so proud of her. We’re so lucky to have women like her and crossing guards and all the agents around here that take care of the children.
I feel really, really grateful. The child’s mother, Sharon Arolano, had mixed feelings in the wake of her daughter’s attempted abduction. She said the school should put more work into protecting children around campus. To me, I didn’t feel that they did what they needed to do to keep my child safe, she said. Thankfully, someone helped her. At the same time, Aralano told Inside Edition that she is very thankful for the crossing guard even hugging Young to show her gratitude. If it wouldn’t be for her, I wouldn’t know where my daughter would be right now.
City officials also showed their appreciation for Young. On September 21, 2016, City Councilman Mitchell Farrell presented her with a certificate of recognition for her bravery. Beneath her name. The certificate identified her as the hero crossing guard. In presenting Young the certificate, the politician said superheroes come in small packages. He was obviously referencing her heroics on the day of the attempted kidnapping, but also her hard work in making sure the woman was apprehended by the police.
Both Young and the eight year old child worked with the LAPD to provide a detailed account of the woman who tried to kidnap her. Their memories helped the police pinpoint Maria Ramirez as their suspect. O’Farrell told ABC Seven she’s being charged with attempted kidnapping, which is a very serious charge. Her actions would have an effect on the rest of her life, he said. She’ll be in the criminal justice system, and she is justifiably in a world of hurt.
By the time Young received her certificate of recognition from the city, ramirez was in jail until someone could pay her $100,000 bail. Of course, she might have walked free or walked away with a schoolgirl if not for the school crossing guard. With a strong motherly instinct, this was not lost to know Farrell, who said in the award ceremony, because of her diligence training and awareness, and just because she cares so much about children, young prevented what could have been a kidnapping of a child.