Good Samaritans rewarded for bringing missing 5-year-old girl home safely

NOW: Good Samaritans rewarded for bringing missing 5-year-old girl home safely

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Two men are being honored for helping bring a 5-year-old girl home safely late Wednesday night.

Around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18, Milwaukee police sent out a news release hoping to identify a little girl who was last seen near the Clark gas station at 19th and National at 9:22 p.m. Police shared gas station surveillance video showing a little girl getting into a car with men, but the men involved said it wasn't what it looked like.

Teryton Bonner and Demarcus Fayne were at the gas station when they saw the little girl wandering around by herself.

"I could see she was crying, so I stopped and asked her, 'Where's your parents?' and she was like that's what she was looking for: her dad," Bonner said.

Bonner said he told the girl to walk home on the sidewalk and he would drive alongside her to make sure she got home safely, but she told him that she wanted to get in the car. So he drove her home.

There was some confusion a few hours later when police shared photos of Fayne, Bonner's car and the little girl hoping to identify them. However, by that point, Bonner had made sure she was safely reunited with her babysitter.

"I'm happy the little girl got home safe. That's all that mattered," Fayne said.

Reggie Moore, director of the Office of Violence Prevention applauded the men for their quick actions and said others could learn a lesson from them.

"We see this in a number of different incidents where people feel like, 'Well, that's not my business. I don't want to get involved. I'm not concerned,' but when it comes to missing and exploited children in our city, that's all of our concern, and so the fact that these men took responsibility and did everything possible to reconnect her with her family, it's something that we want everybody in our city to do," Moore said.

Someone asked Milwaukee Crime Stoppers to reward the two Good Samaritans. But Crime Stoppers President Michael Hupy said that is not part of the organization's mission, so instead, he personally wrote the two men each a $1000 check.

"(Crime Stoppers)'s mission is to pay people for helping solve crimes. What we really want to do is prevent crimes from happening, but we can't pay people for crimes that never happened. So I'm taking it upon myself to give each one of these heroes personally $1000 for helping this girl and possibly preventing a crime," Hupy said.

Hupy continued, "They did something that is so extraordinary that most people wouldn't do, that most people would be afraid to do, that most people wouldn't bother to do."

Bonner and Fayne said they were grateful for the money, but that's not why they helped the little girl.

"I got eight kids. It was just a parent's instinct, and I think any civil person would do that and react like that," Bonner said.

Bonner said the little girl told him she wandered over to the gas station to buy chips, so later he came back and bought her a bag of Barbecue Lays.

Moore said this story is a good reminder to teach children phone numbers, street names and other important information in case they go missing.

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