POLICE

South Salt Lake police don’t fault bystanders for not intervening on viral abduction video

Jun 28, 2021, 3:19 PM | Updated: Jun 30, 2021, 10:06 am

SALT LAKE CTIY — When South Salt Lake police released surveillance footage from a convenience store Friday night, showing the moments when an abduction took place in a parking lot, the video went viral. That’s in part because several bystanders can be seen in the video, and none of them tried to help the victim.

However, South Salt Lake Police told KSL TV reporter Tania Dean that those bystanders, by doing nothing, did the right thing.

What happened that night

In the video, a woman is seen running into the picture toward a black vehicle where a man is pumping gas. Another man runs toward the woman, and both of them are seen standing next to the bystander putting gasoline in his vehicle.

Next, the woman is seen being tossed over the shoulder of the man who’d chased her. The video shows the woman kicking, and recorded her cries for help.

RELATED:  Suspect arrested after South Salt Lake abduction caught on tape

Along with the man putting gas in his vehicle, there are several other people doing the same thing. And nobody is seen on the surveillance tape trying to help.

That got the attention of thousands of people who posted comments on the South Salt Lake Police Department’s Facebook page, where police had uploaded the video.

“Sometimes people freeze,” said Jenn Oxborrow, a licensed clinical social worker who spoke with Dean. “Sometimes people have their own lived experience, and so it triggers something in them.

“You would think that you would react one way, but this whole other set of reactions can come with that.”

The woman in the video was eventually found safe in West Valley City.

An upside to the viral video, abduction, and the bystanders

Oxborrow also told Dean when the video went viral it spurred conversations on social media and elsewhere. Those conversations have actually been helping to teach people what they should do in a situation like that depicted in the security camera video from Friday night.

“A lot of people have thought and talked about this to say ‘what would I do?’ What would I do if I was in this situation,” Oxborrow said.

The police say the best thing a bystander can do is to call 9-1-1, which someone at the store did. That allowed police officers to begin looking for the couple within just a few minutes.

 

Today’s Top Stories

Police

A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
1 day ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
1 day ago
provo police car is pictured, the department is investigation a hit-and-run...
Samantha Herrera

21-year-old woman killed in Provo hit-and-run

21-year-old Isabelle Parr was identified as the victim of a hit-and-run in Provo on Thursday. Police believe she was hit while jogging.
1 day ago
semi rollover...
Mark Jones

Semi rollover on Legacy Highway reduces traffic to one lane

The Utah Highway Patrol says a semi traveling northbound on Legacy Highway rolled Thursday night around 7:45 p.m. The driver was not hurt.
2 days ago
Layton Police Department...
Mark Jones

Suspect in I-15 shooting named, booked into jail

The suspect involved in Wednesday's officer-involved shooting on southbound I-15 has been identified as 28-year-old Michael John Buttel.
2 days ago
UTA confrontation...
Mark Jones

Confrontation with bicyclist sends UTA bus driver to hospital

UTA officials say a confrontation between a bicyclist and a UTA bus driver resulted in the bus driver suffering a broken hip and being hospitalized.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
South Salt Lake police don’t fault bystanders for not intervening on viral abduction video