Myra Brummell has been a Muni bus and train operator for 13 years.But she said that discovering the 16-year-old autistic girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted and kidnapped late last month ranks at the top of things she will never forget. Cheryl Hurd has her story.
Myra Brummell has been a Muni bus and train operator for 13 years.
But she said that discovering the 16-year-old autistic girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted and kidnapped late last month ranks at the top of things she will never forget.
"I'm really glad God used me as a vessel to hep her," Brummell said. "That's just evil what happened to her. It really was."
Brummell's discovery of the girl on Nov. 30 helped lead to the arrest of Gary Atkinson, 36, charged with raping and kidnapping the girl, who walked away from the Fred Finch Youth Center in Oakland two days earlier. Staff had followed the girl near the Fruitvale BART station, but ended up losing sight of her.
In an interview with NBC Bay Area on Tuesday, Brummell shared the story of how she spotted the girl about 8 p.m. At first, Brummell didn't even know there was anyone left on her train.
"I didn't know anyone was on the train at the end of the line at Sunnydale and Bayshore," Brummell said. "She rang the bell and I noticed her feet."
The girl told Brummel that she needed help and that she had been kidnapped and raped. Brummell recounted that the girl was holding her stomach and told her she was in pain. She was also crying.
"I know she is autistic but she was very descriptive in what she told me," Brummell said. "She told me she walked away from her group home in Oakland and she knew she was in San Francisco."
Brummell called police but stayed with the girl to make sure she was OK.
Oakland Police Sgt. Chris Bolton said his hat goes out to the people like Brummell because it is people like her who help police do their jobs.
State officials are now looking into whether the Fred Finch Youth Center staff members acted appropriately.
And as for Brummell, she's just glad she had a small part in helping a girl in need. As for the girl's alleged abuser: “It’s not up to me to judge him. That’s up to the courts..But I hope he never ...hurts another child.”