James Brick was arrested for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl from her home Ashville, North Carolina, and was apprehended in Kentucky on Nov 4
The missing teen was performing a hand gesture she learned from TikTok to alert drivers that she was in danger
The gesture, which features victims slowly curling their fingers around their thumbs, is meant to alert people of domestic abuse
Investigators also allegedly found child pornography in Brick’s possession
The 61-year-old suspected pedophile was charged with kidnapping and possession of child pornography and is been held at the Laurel County Correctional Center
A suspected pedophile was arrested for abducting a 16 year-old girl after she used an emergency hand signal she saw on TikTok to alert other drivers to her plight, police in Laurel, Kentucky said.
Laurel County Sheriff’s officers arrested James Brick, 61, on November 4, after receiving a call on Thursday about a 16-year-old girl in his car making hand gestures known on TikTok that represent domestic violence.
It was seen by someone driving behind Brick’s vehicle, with the girl subsequently telling police she’d been abducted from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, and driven through her home state, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Her parents had reported her missing.
The signal, demonstrated on multiple TikTok accounts, including one set up by news site Now. This, sees a person raise their palm and tuck their thumb, then lower their fingers so that the thumb is ‘trapped’ inside them, with the signal resembling a clenched fist.
Kentucky sheriff shows how to do TikTok hand signal for help that led to teen’s rescue
It is designed to show others that the signaler is suffering from domestic abuse.
One driver called in about the teen in a silver Toyota who ‘appeared to be in distress’ making hand gestures known on the social media app to represent ‘violence at home – I need help,’ the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said.
‘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 missing teen told police that she and Brick had traveled to Ohio, where Brick’s family lived, but left shortly after his family realized she was underaged and reported missing by her parents.
She began making the hand signs that she learned on TikTok when they were driving back to North Carolina on Interstate 75, where drivers she caught the attention of other drivers.
Officers quickly arrested Brick and also found a phone in his possession ‘that allegedly portrayed a juvenile female in a sexual manner.’
It is unclear if that is the same girl was the teenager found in the car.
Police have also yet to explain whether Brick knew his alleged victim before the attack, and more details about how he had been able to take her.
Brick was charged with kidnapping and possession of child pornography and jailed at the Laurel County Correctional Center.
Investigation of the incident is on-going the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said.