Police called gas station employee Savannah Pritchett a “true hero” after her quick thinking led to the rescue of a kidnapped woman and the arrest of her alleged attackers.

A split-second decision to save the victim

When a young woman walked into the gas station convenience store in Stanislaus County, California, she didn’t look in distress. But when clerk Pritchett walked past her, the woman grabbed her arm in desperation.

According to ABC News, she told Pritchett that she had been kidnapped and needed help.

So Pritchett acted quickly and decisively. She ushered the woman into the station bathroom and passed her a cell phone to call the police before locking the door.

Then, she let the two alleged attackers in — Pritchett knew if she kept the door locked they might get suspicious and run away.

With the two suspects inside the store, police stormed the front door with their guns drawn and made the arrests.

Police went on to make two other arrests and said the victim had been abducted 90 miles away from the station in Fresno, and was sexually assaulted. The police also said the suspects appeared to have local gang ties and were already facing charges including armed robbery, sexual assault, and kidnapping.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department had high praise for Pritchett in a Facebook post.

“A Waterford gas station cashier is a true hero,” the post read. “Her bravery and quick-thinking saved a woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted.”

“When we work together, we can do great things in our community,” the police added.

She doesn’t want to be called a hero

When asked whether she thinks the police are correct in saying she’s a hero, Pritchett said she doesn’t see it that way.

“No, I don’t want to be called a hero, because I would just hope that if anyone came up to you talking about the need help and they’ve been kidnapped, I really hope that they would have helped her too,” Pritchett told Good Morning America.

“The girl told me she tried to get help from two different guys in Fresno and I think in Bakersfield or something and both the guys drove right off from her.”

Savannah Pritchett

What mattered more to Pritchett was that the victim was safe and at home with her family.

“I’m very thankful that I got to help that girl and I am very thankful that she’s home safe with her family and now I’m happy that they got those guys off the street,” Pritchett said.

We all have the capability to be heroes

We never know when we’ll be tasked to help someone in need. And when that moment comes, it can be difficult to act — what Pritchett did, for instance, took an extreme level of bravery.

But just like if we were the victim we would want to be helped, we have to do what we can for those in need when it is required.

Whether that means helping a victim of abuse, making someone’s day with kind words, or donating to a worthy cause, we all have the capability to be heroes.

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