Teenager Malyk Bonnet was about to get on the bus when he saw a man and woman arguing—the man was screaming at her, clearly abusive, and Bonnet wanted to intervene. He was afraid things would escalate, and the man would lash out and hit the girl.
Before he could think of what to say, the couple saw him, and the man demand he give them some money—they just wanted some bus fare. Not wanting to leave the terrified woman alone, Bonnet agreed.
The three of them headed over to a nearby convenience store so Bonnet could withdraw some money to give to them. Then, during a small moment when the man wasn’t paying attention, the woman quietly told him she needed help. His suspicions were confirmed.
“The girl was saying, ‘Please help me. He don’t want to let me go. I want to go home but he don’t want to let me go,'” he remembered.
In his mind, Bonnet was quickly forming a plan to help the woman escape.
Bonnet noticed the man wasn’t as quick to frighten the woman when there were other people watching, so he knew he had to carry out his plan somewhere with many other people.
“My plan was to keep them in a public place, where there’s a lot of people,” Bonnet said. “I decided to make myself friendly with the man, so he would trust me. So I played my game.”
After getting the money, Bonnet decided he would get on the same bus as them.
He continued to stay close to them on the ride, making some conversation, then offered to buy them both a meal at a Tim Hortons near a bus stop.
Bonnet handed the man his money so he could buy the food, and casually excused himself to use the restroom. The man thought nothing of it.
Instead, Bonnet had headed off to borrow a phone to call 911—his own phone battery had been dead. He notified the police, and within minutes, they arrived and apprehended the man.
What Bonnet hadn’t known at the time was that the police were already in pursuit of the couple and this was just the lead they needed.
“We were looking for a 29-year-old woman who was kidnapped by her former boyfriend earlier that day, and we believed that man was very dangerous,” Lt. Daniel Guérin told CBC.
The man had been found guilty of assault and made serious death threats to his ex-girlfriend last year, and had a court order to stay away from her.
Even as the man was arrested, he didn’t seem to realize someone had called 911 and alerted the police about him, much less that it was Bonnet.
When the police arrived, the woman was visibly shaken.
“She was almost crying. She was so happy, so happy not to be with him,” Bonnet remembered.
“Now I realize what I did, and wow,” he said.