A missing teenager was rescued in the United States after using a hand gesture that signals distress or domestic violence to capture the attention of a passing driver.
The 16-year-old was spotted traveling inside a silver-colored Toyota near London. Kentucky, approximately 150 miles southeast of Louisville, on November 4th.
A driver called police after noticing “a passenger in the vehicle making known hand gestures on the social media platform TikTok to represent violence in the home – I need help – domestic violence,” the sheriff’s office said. of Laurel County in a declaration on November 6.
The caller noted that the girl “appeared to be in trouble” and was led by an older male.
Investigators from Laurel’s Sheriff positioned themselves to watch the Toyota go by and intercepted the vehicle as it exited the highway. The officers carried out a traffic stop and a subsequent investigation revealed that the teenager had been reported missing by his parents days earlier.
Police say the teenager told investigators that he traveled with the man through North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Authorities say he tried to get the attention of motorists to call 911.
After police arrest, James Herbert Brick, 61, was arrested on the spot and charged with unlawful detention, the sheriff’s office said. Remains in custody.
The gesture used by the adolescent to signal violence or distress is believed to have been introduced for the first time since Canadian Women’s Foundation last year. It has been adopted by women all over the world who need to ask for help with discretion, or show that they are in trouble.
The gesture is a hand up, palm out, palm tucked in, then bending the fingers down.