A teenage girl who was kidnapped by a 61-year-old man in North Carolina saved herself by using a viral TikTok hand signal. James Herbert Brick is now facing kidnapping and child p**nography charges following his arrest.
The Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Brick on November 4 after receiving a 911 call where a person informed the police that a young female passenger “appeared to be in distress.”
The caller also mentioned that the teenager was being driven in a silver Toyota vehicle which helped in locating the kidnapper and the victim.
The teenage girl was visibly making hand gestures which signaled distress. The viral TikTok hand motion suggests “violence at home – I need help – domestic violence,” according to police authorities.
Kidnapper faces several charges after being caught through a TikTok hand signal
According to the sheriff’s office, Brick is being held at the Laurel County Correctional Center on a $10,000 bond following his arrest. He is facing charges of possession of material p**nographic in nature of a minor and is also being charged for unlawful imprisonment.
A Facebook post uploaded by Laurel Sheriff’s Office read:
“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.”
The teenage girl who used the TikTok hand signal was reportedly 16 years old. She was located while conducting a traffic stop, and police found her while questioning Brick in his car.
It was also discovered that the teenager and Brick had traveled across North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Brick’s relatives in Ohio found out that the missing 16-year-old was kidnapped by him, which led to him leaving the state and heading towards North Carolina.
A TikTok video showcasing the viral hand signal has accumulated over 40,000 views. It has helped tremendously to help one communicate if they’re in danger.
The aforementioned hand signal gestures one’s hand up with their palm out. The thumb remains tucked in while the other fingers remain folded down.
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The TikTok hand gesture was first introduced by the Canadian Women’s Foundation last year. It has been adopted globally to communicate discreetly if they are in distress.