Adrian Young has built a reliable career for herself as a crossing guard in Los Angeles. As a vital help to Alexandria Avenue Elementary School, Adrian helps the tiny children and their parents get across the street safely. It is a job few people respect but Adrian does good work and must remain constantly vigilant while on the clock. But one day as she was about to clock out and head home, she heard a little girl scream five words that left her cold…
“Please don’t let her take me,” the girl yelled. “I don’t know her. She’s not my mom!”
Adrian knew something was wrong. Then her eyes narrowed in on a woman dragging an 8-year-old girl away from the school. And because she had paid attention to her training and valued the safety of the children at the elementary school, Adrian sprung to action. She would not let a stranger abduct one of her kids so easily.
“I kind of went into mother mode,” she said, “because I couldn’t see myself letting this little girl be taken.”
What makes this show of bravery even more impressive is Adrian’s stature. She is a petite woman who stands only about 4-feet and 8-inches tall. Although she was small, she had to face the much bigger woman who was trying to abduct the child. Adrian reached for the little girl and told her to hold on. Meanwhile, the crossing guard tried to free the child from the grips of the larger abductor.
“I just told her to grab onto me as tight as she could,” Adrian said, “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.”
Finally, the woman let go. Adrian had saved the 8-year-old girl’s life. Because she also notified the police and provided an accurate description of the would-be abductor, the police later identified her and brought her to justice. Without Adrian, a little girl could have become a victim or human trafficking or worse.
The abductor was identified as 50-year-old Maria Ramirez. She has been charged with one count of felony kidnapping.
Adrian is getting the recognition she deserves. And the Los Angeles community is hailing her a hero.
Los Angeles City Council member Mitch O’Farrell honored Adrian at a public event, saying, “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 child’s mother, Sharon Arellano, shared her undying gratitude for Adrian’s courage.
“If it wouldn’t have been for her I wouldn’t know where my daughter would be right now,” she said.
Because Adrian refuses to let this horror happen to another child, the school is working with her to institute more rigorous safety standards.