TikTok hand signal saves girl, 16, who was abducted by pedophile in North Carolina

You might have spotted dramatized TikTok videos, where women alert passers-by about their danger by making a peculiar hand signal


                            TikTok hand signal saves girl, 16, who was abducted by pedophile in North Carolina
The suspect James Brick (L) and the hand gesture that saved the teenager (R) (Laurel County Correctional Center, Women's Funding Network)

LAUREL COUNTY, KENTUCKY: TikTok might be notorious for subjecting youngsters to dangerous, life-threatening challenges every now and then, but this time, it managed to save a life. The viral emergency hand signal on TikTok ended up saving the life of a teenage girl, who was abducted by a suspected pedophile from her home in Asheville, North Carolina. On November 4, 2021, Laurel County Sheriff's Officers in Kentucky nabbed 61-year-old James Brick on suspicion of abducting the young girl. She managed to alert other drivers from Brick's car by using the emergency hand signal, meant for victims of domestic violence. 

The girl, whose identity has not been revealed, later told police that she was kidnapped by Brick from her Asheville home. The suspected pedophile then drove through Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky before the police intervened. Her hand signal was noticed by another driver who alerted the Laurel County cops. Meanwhile, the girl's parents had also reported her missing.

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If you are an avid TikTok user, it is highly likely that you have spotted dramatized videos, where women alert passers-by about their danger by making a peculiar hand signal. As specified by Women's Funding Network, the signal involves the victim raising their palm and tucking their thumb, then they lower their fingers to give the illusion that the thumb is "trapped". The signal resembles a clenched fist to any onlooker and alerts them about the signaller's domestic abuse. 

The abducted girl, in this case, was seen doing the hand signal from Brick's silver Toyota. "It was learned through investigation that the female passenger was a reported missing juvenile – reported by her parents on Tuesday morning missing from Asheville, North Carolina. A check through NCIC confirmed that she was a reported missing person," Laurel County Sheriff's Office confirmed. 

After being rescued by the cops, the girl revealed to him that Brick had taken her to his family home in Ohio. However, he left with her again after Brick's family realized she was underage. She started making the hand gestures when he was driving back towards North Carolina on Interstate 75.

Later, police also found "a juvenile female in a sexual manner" portrayed in Brick's phone. Brick has been charged with kidnapping and possession of child pornography and is currently jailed at the Laurel County Correctional Center. 

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