“Thinking of how others are feeling, in that moment, and how we can help them, especially in a pressure situation, is a true expression of Empathy. Malyk Bonnet used his Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence, and Racial Intelligence to be deservingly called a HERO.” – Randy Friedman, Founder RITE Academy
Original Post Aug. 18, 2015 by Rachel Trost
“I don’t think of myself as a hero, I’m just a normal guy,” Malyk Bonnet told Dateline NBC. “I guess I saved a life, though, and that’s really awesome.”
It started on August 1, when Bonnet, 17, was making his way home in the north end of Montreal, Canada, after finishing his shift at a local restaurant. At the bus stop, he noticed a couple fighting. The pair approached him and asked for bus fare to the town of Laval. Bonnet says he got a funny feeling, but he agreed to stop and break his bills at a nearby convenience store.
Not wanting to leave the young woman alone, Bonnet says he formulated a plan stay with the two. Although he lives in Montreal, Bonnet accompanied the couple saying he, too, was heading home to Laval.
“My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn’t hurt her. I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game and he seemed to trust me,” said Bonnet.
Little did Bonnet know, the police had been desperately searching for the couple after the woman’s family reported her missing earlier that day.
“We had been looking for a 29-year-old woman who had been reported kidnapped by her former boyfriend,” Lt. Daniel Guerin of the Laval Police Department told Dateline. “We knew that the man was not stable. He was recently in jail for violence and had been found guilty of assault and death threats against her.”
After arriving in Laval, Bonnet knew he had to find an opportune moment to call for help. He invited the couple to grab something to eat with him and gave them $50 as they sat at a table. He then made an excuse about using the restroom so he could get away and call the police.
“I borrowed a cell phone from someone because mine had died and told police that it was an emergency, that someone had been kidnapped and were at this restaurant,” said Bonnet.
The man saw Bonnet on the phone, but the teen diffused the situation by telling him he had just called a cab. Police were there within minutes.
Although he did not speak with the woman after her captor was taken into custody, Bonnet says he knows she’s OK. “We made eye contact and she had tears in her eyes. She was really happy.”
Across Canada, Bonnet is being praised for the extraordinary measures he took to protect the woman. He was on the front page of the Journal de Montreal Friday. He and his family were also given a tourof Laval Police headquarters.
Officers collected money– more than $250 — to reimburse Bonnet for the money he spent on the bus fare and food that night.
“He’s a real hero, we all think,” said Lt. Guerin. “His quick actions may have saved this young woman’s life. He now has 500 new friends in our department.”
Bonnet, who admits he has had run-ins with law enforcement before, says he now has a new-found appreciation and respect for police officers.
His mother could also not be prouder.
“She bought a lot of copies of the paper and thinks all this attention is amazing,” said Bonnet. “She told me she’s going to tell my kids about this one day.”
Lt. Guerin told Dateline NBC the teen is being nominated for an award from the department, as well as a national award for his bravery.
The RITE Academy is dedicated to bringing Racial Intelligence training inside the walls of law enforcement, and onto the streets of the communities they serve. Our exclusive ESRI continuing education, combining Emotional Intelligence (EI) PLUS Social Intelligence (SI), gives birth to the much needed, Racial Intelligence (RI).