Story of 8th grader who heroically saved 2-year-old wandering alone on streets still touches hearts
A high school student from Modesto, California, earned the title of hero after he rescued a 2-year-old girl from being run over by cars. The toddler had learned to open the front door and escaped her home without anyone noticing.
It was a typical day for 8th grader Adrian Castro, biking from Mark Twain Junior High to his boxing class when he witnessed a very dangerous situation: a little girl was about to get into the street as the traffic started to move on.
Quick on his feet, Castro reacted by pulling the girl back into the sidewalk and safety. After noticing there were no adults around that cared for the girl, he asked the toddler where she lived, and she pointed. But just to make sure, he pointed in different directions asking her “that way?” and she said yes every time.
ASKING FOR HELP
Castro ended up calling 911. They questioned his full name and the address and told him to stay put while help arrived. The 13-year-old stayed with the little girl until her mom and aunt arrived at the scene.
They had also called 911 after realizing the girl, named Aricelia, was missing. So, when they learned the location of the little girl, operators send her mom that way. But Castro was careful enough to ask the girl if that lady was her mom, to which she answered by hugging the woman.
Police arrived a bit later, and officers and Aricelia’s mom couldn’t thank Adrian enough for saving the child from a possible accident. But the boy, who is the oldest of three sons, says he just did what he hoped someone else would do for one of his siblings.
“I was so scared,” Adrian told The Modesto Bee a few days later. “Like if that was my brother, I’d want someone to help him out if he ran from the house or something like that. Just to make sure he doesn’t get hurt, and call the police.”
Officers at the Modesto Police Department were so amazed by Adrian’s actions that they decided to surprise him. The next day, Officer Jason Stewart visited the boy at school to thank him once again for his good deed and give him a gift card and a Police Department citizen challenge coin.
Officials at the school were so impressed that they added movie tickets and a slushy certificate for Adrian as well. Assistant Principal Gloria Gonzales said students like Adriana give the school a very positive image, and said when she heard of the incident, she wasn’t surprised Adrian knew what to do.
“Right away when I heard it was him, I knew he knew what to do. And he’s just an overall good person — ‘Yes, sir,’ ‘Yes, ma’am,’ well-behaved. We’re proud of him.”
Lupita Castro, Adrian’s mom, said she was the happiest mother after hearing what her son did. “He’s a really awesome kid, and I’m glad I raised him well,” she stated.
A photo of Adrian and officer Stewart was posted on the police department’s Facebook page, and has earned over 7.7k reactions and more than a thousand of shares, with people from all over the world praising Adrian for his kind heart and wit, and Lupita for raising such a smart young man.
ANOTHER 8TH GRADER HERO
On a similar case of teenager saving lives, 8th grader Sam Ruskin became a hero after saving a man in the middle of the sea.
A passing drone captured the action. A massive wave caused overthrown a boat in Jupiter Inlet, leaving the boater helpless and surrounded by debris from his ruined boat. Ruskin, who was surfing on the area, saw the man needed a hand and swam to him, offered him his surfboard and led him to safety.
"I saw that he needed some help and I was there, and I wasn't going to let him get hurt or drown," the teen told Inside Edition. "We got to where it was shallow enough for him to stand and he said, 'Thank you,' and I just went back out surfing."
Sam’s father was surprised after learning of his son’s actions, but Sam was humble about the whole thing.