James Brick, 61, was brought to justice after he allegedly kidnapped a teenage girl from North Carolina and transported her to Kentucky. The sixteen-year-old victim was at the mercy of Brick while he traveled across the country with his precious cargo. However, the victim managed to learn a secret hand signal through the Chinese-created TikTok video app that helped her alert other people to her plight.
While Brick drove his victim across state lines, she flashed the emergency hand signal to other drivers. She learned the signal from watching scores of TikTok videos. Another driver picked up the signal, recognized it, and managed to call the police and report Brick’s vehicle.
Because of this Good Samaritan, Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies from Kentucky arrested Brick. They received the alarming call on Thursday that the sixteen-year-old victim was seen in Brick’s car and that she was flashing a gesture popularized by TikTok videos that are known to represent domestic violence.
The person driving behind Brick’s vehicle noticed the teen flashing the warning signal. They called the police, who were able to track Brick’s vehicle down and stop him from harming the girl. She told cops after she was rescued that she was abducted from her home in Asheville, North Carolina. Brick locked her in his vehicle as he drove her through his home state of Ohio and on through Tennessee and eventually into Kentucky.
The victim’s parents had reported her missing, which helped police identify her quickly once they rescued her from Brick’s clutches.
Fortunately, the girl managed to learn the secret hand signal from watching various TikTok accounts. The hand signal was promoted on the Chinese-created platform from several accounts, including a news site called NowThis.
What does the domestic violence hand signal look like? Well, if you see a person raising their palm with their thumb tucked inside and then closing their fingers around their thumb, so it becomes “trapped” in a clenched fist, then you have just seen the secret domestic violence signal.
The driver who spotted the teen flashing the signal called the police. They reported that they’d seen the girl in a silver Toyota who “appeared to be in distress.” The caller told police that they saw the girl making the gesture popularized by social media to represent “violence at home – I need help,” reported the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office.
“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,” the Laurel Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “A check through NCIC confirmed that she was a reported missing person.”
The victim told police that after her abduction, Brick took her home to Ohio. However, his family became concerned when they learned that the victim was underage and had been reported missing by her parents. This led Brick to take her across several state lines as he ran from the hands of the law.
Police found a phone in his possession “that allegedly portrayed a juvenile female in a sexual manner.” He was charged with kidnapping and possession of child pornography and is currently jailed at the Laurel County Correctional Center.