A quick-thinking woman who was a passenger on a national flight from Seattle to San Jose, California, couldn’t believe her eyes when she spotted some text messages that were being written by a man who was seated right in front her.
The man on the Southwest Airlines flight was clearly texting about “molesting young children,” according to the San Jose Police Department.
The woman, who works as a school teacher, was able to read the text messages simply because the man had enabled a larger font size on his already large smartphone, which made it very easy for her to catch a glimpse of what was being sent.
The man was later identified as the 56-year-old Michael Kellar from Washington.
The woman didn’t hesitate for a second realizing that children might be in danger.
She quietly alerted one of the stewards on board the plane, who in their turn contacted the proper authorities on the ground. As soon as the plane landed, police intervened to place the man under arrest.
Detective Sgt. Brian Spears from the San Jose PD Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force couldn’t praise the woman more for her actions. “She’s definitely a hero in our eyes,” he mentioned.
Thanks to the woman’s alertness, the man was charged with two felonies regarding the molestation of young children and has been arraigned. He is being held without bail.
Of course, the investigation didn’t stop there. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was able to suspect who the man was texting to, a 50-year woman old from Washington. Thanks to these efforts, the police have also located two young children aged just 5 and 7 who are possible victims of abuse.
“It definitely goes beyond just that flight,” Sgt. Spears added. “There is a history of conversations between them.”
According to a statement released by the city of Seattle, his accomplice “had access to the children either as a caregiver or babysitter.”
She was also arrested on the same day but was released later because prosecutors weren’t able to provide a charge in 72 hours.
Luckily, police arrested the woman once again later in the week, this time with a federal warrant.
“We’re very grateful that she was on that plane,” Police Captain Edwards said. “I think the big message and the big takeaway on this (are), for all of us, is to pay attention to what’s going on around you,” he said. “You never know how important it could be.”
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