REPORT: Woman Escapes Kidnapper After Using Viral Social Media Hand Signal

Not a crime scene mentioned in the story. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Tennessee police rescued a woman from an attempted kidnapping and domestic violence situation Sunday after a convenience store customer noticed her using the TikTok hand signal for “help.”

Witnesses said the woman ran into a convenience store and used a hand signal popularized on TikTok to signal for help in situations involving domestic violence, Fox56 reported. She crossed her thumb over her palm and opened and closed her four fingers repeatedly while mouthing “help,” a signal popularized on TikTok by the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Customers called the police, who responded to the scene as the woman was being taken away in a pickup truck, Fox56 continued. Deputies followed the truck, leading to a 10-15 minute pursuit that ended with the truck crashing in a neighboring county, the outlet reported.

The driver and alleged kidnapper exited the vehicle before he was tased and taken into custody by the deputies. He was charged with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated domestic assault, with other charges pending, according to the outlet.

“If you see something, say something,” one of the convenience store customers, Eric Streeval, told Fox56. Streeval is part of a motorcycle group that supports female victims of domestic violence, according to the outlet. (RELATED: US National Sentenced To Death For Beheading Diplomat’s Daughter After Rejected Proposal)

“Domestic violence is a bad thing here in Tennessee. The victims, a lot of times they’re too afraid to speak out. And I credit the young lady in this situation with having the world’s most courage of actually speaking out because who knows what would have happened,” Streeval continued.

In 2021, a North Carolina teen was rescued from a similar situation after she made the hand signal to passing cars. Authorities were able to stop the car containing the missing teenager and arrest the driver for unlawful imprisonment and other charges.