When a teenager was shopping at his local Target, he couldn’t help but notice a creepy man, who he said appeared to be demonic-looking. After seeing what the man was doing, the teen couldn’t ignore him or walk away. Instead, his gut told him it was time to take action.
Cameron Cook, a South End Boston teen, was shopping with his mom at the South Bay Plaza Target in Boston, Massachusetts, when something odd caught his eye, CBS News reported. A man with what Cameron described as a “demonic look” on his face seemed fixated on a young girl who was pushing a shopping cart, but that wasn’t the worst of it.
“I seen [sic] the guy grabbing himself, and my mom goes, ‘Cam let’s go, keep walking,'” 17-year-old Cameron recalled. “I was like, no, something’s going on,” he added. Sadly, Cameron wasn’t the only one who quickly realized that something was off about the stranger, but he was seemingly the only one who wasn’t about to look the other way.
“I was close enough that I could smell the liquor coming from his mouth,” Cameron’s mother, Heather Cook, admitted. “It was horrible.” Unfortunately, things would only go from bad to worse from there as the stranger thrust himself up against the somewhat startled youngster, who appeared to be all alone in the store. That’s when Cameron knew he had to step in.
Shockingly, as Cameron approached the demonic-looking stranger who reeked of booze, the man seemingly made a startling admission in the form of denial. “So I went up to him, I was like, ‘Excuse me sir, do you know her?'” Cameron recalled, describing the moment he asked the man if he knew the girl. “[T]he first thing he said was, ‘I’m not a pervert, I’m not a pervert.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t ask you that sir,'” Cameron continued.
As Heather watched, she was impressed with her son’s bravery. “He was big,” she said of the stranger whom her son had confronted, “and Cameron had no fear at all,” the teen’s mother recalled. “He just stood firm on the fact that he knew what this man was doing was wrong,” she continued. “I’m very proud of him, but it’s totally within his character,” she said. “He’s not afraid to do what’s right.”
Cameron told the man to leave the store. Although the man denied any wrongdoing and cursed all the way out the door, he did as Cameron suggested. After the teen protected the little girl from the apparent pervert, a store manager said that the store’s surveillance video was turned over to the police. According to Heather, the store manager told her that the video footage showed the man climbing into a waiting car outside.
As for the little girl, it was later learned that she wasn’t alone at the store. Her mom was in the store bathroom when the incident unfolded, prompting police to advise parents not to leave their small children alone in the store but rather take them to the bathroom with them. Indeed, with sex trafficking and other heinous crimes on the rise, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. Children shouldn’t be permitted to wander the store alone, not even while mom or dad takes a quick potty break.
Of course, the young victim’s mom had a heartfelt thanks for Cameron, who was just grateful he was there to help. “I’m just happy I was there to protect her,” said Cameron. “Because you never know what could have went on,” he added. And, he’s right. Thankfully, this teen didn’t have his face buried in his phone. Instead, he was observant of his surroundings and courageous enough to call out questionable behavior. We shudder to think how differently this story might have ended if not for the bravery of Cameron Cook. Job well done, sir.