MONTREAL, Canada — A 17-year-old restaurant cook followed his gut and likely helped save a kidnapped woman's life.
Malyk Bonnet was heading home earlier this month after finishing his shift at a Montreal restaurant when he noticed a couple fighting at his bus stop, according to NBC News.
"The guy was screaming at her," Bonnet told CBC News. "He wasn't really gentle with her, and I started watching because I thought he would hit her, so I approached them a little bit."
Bonnet said he couldn't shake the uneasy feeling when the couple asked him for help with their bus fare to the nearby town of Laval, but he agreed to help. Worried for the woman's safety, Bonnet decided to stick with the pair, telling them he too was heading to Laval when in fact, he lived in Montreal, NBC News reports.
"My plan was to keep them in a public place where he wouldn't hurt her," he said. "I decided to be friendly with the man and have him think I was his friend. I played my game and he seemed to trust me."
Bonnet could not have known that the woman he was determined to protect was reported missing by her family earlier that day, and that police believed the man she was with — her ex-boyfriend — had taken her against her will.
"We knew the man was not stable," Laval Police Lt. Daniel Guerin told NBC. "He was recently in jail for violence and had been found guilty of assault and death threats against her."
When the trio arrived in Laval, Bonnet offered to buy the couple dinner at a Tim Hortons and gave them $50 as they sat down at a table, CBC reports. He then excused himself quickly find a way to alert police.
"I borrowed a cellphone from someone because mine had died and told police that it was an emergency, that someone had been kidnapped and were at this restaurant," Bonnet told NBC.
Bonnet had to think quickly when the alleged kidnapper noticed he'd been on the phone — telling him he was simply calling a cab. When police arrived minutes later, the man was shocked.
I don't think of myself as a hero, I'm just a normal guy. I guess I saved a life, though, and that's really awesome.
"He was really surprised, he didn't know it was me," Bonnet told CBC. "I played my game right."
Bonnet — who has had trouble with the law himself — is now being hailed as a hero for his bravery. His story made the front page of a Canadian newspaper, he's been nominated for several awards and Laval police officers even collected money to reimburse the teen for the cash he doled out to keep the couple in his sights.
"He's a real hero, we all think," Guerin said. "His quick actions may have saved this young woman's life. He now has 500 new friends in our department."
As for Bonnet, he was just happy to see that the woman was OK.
"We made eye contact and she had tears in her eyes," he said. "She was really happy."
Bonnet said one of the best things to come out of the attention is his mother's pride.
"She bought a lot of copies of the paper and thinks all this attention is amazing," he said. "She told me she's going to tell my kids about this one day."
Even so, he maintains he just did what anyone would have done.
"I don't think of myself as a hero, I'm just a normal guy," he told NBC. "I guess I saved a life, though, and that's really awesome."