Sacramento Letter Carrier Ivan Crisostomo
USPS® Letter Rescues 16-Year-Old from Human Trafficking in Sacramento
Sacramento Letter Carrier Ivan Crisostomo is being hailed a hero for his quick thinking and compassionate treatment of a missing teenager.
“After I parked and came out of my postal vehicle, I noticed a young girl choking on her tears,” Crisostomo says. “I asked if she was OK and if she needed help. She didn’t respond, so l went to deliver the mail I had, but when I came back, she was still there crying.
“I asked her again if she needed help and she opened up with very broken words. What I understood was that she escaped from someone and that person was coming back to get her. She had a phone in her hand but couldn’t use it because she was so (shook up). After she managed to phone her mom, she gave the phone to me … her mom asked me to please protect her daughter until the police came. I said I would watch over her. I also told Crystal not to worry that no one was going to take her.
“I wanted her to feel safe and let her know that no one was going to take her until the police arrived,” he said.
Crystal Allen and Letter Carrier Crisostomo
“I never felt someone needing me so much. The memories of her fear and pain still haunt me, but I am happy I was there when she needed me,” he continued. “I’m not a hero, I just followed my heart. It was a human response.”
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department police report, Crystal said she was just a normal teenager. But when a close family member died and she broke up with her boyfriend, things in her life spiraled out of control. She was eventually put into a group home where she subsequently ran away with another resident. The other resident tricked Crystal into thinking that she was meeting up with her former boyfriend so they could reconcile, but instead, Crystal had been sold to a sex-trafficker.
Crystal’s escape came while riding in the car with her abductor and a couple of other people. She yelled in order to get out the car. As the driver slammed on the brakes, Crystal jumped out of the car while simultaneously grabbing a phone out of her abductor’s hand and ran to the back of a house on the street. Her abductor yelled for her to come back, but when she didn’t, the car eventually drove off.
That’s when Crisostomo found Crystal.
Letter carrier Ivan Crisostomo honored by Sacramento Police Department for human trafficking rescue
Human Trafficking Statistics
According to the International Labour Organization there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally:
81 percent of them are trapped in forced labor
25 percent of them are children
75 percent are women and girls
Using violence, threats, and other inhumane tactics, some are forced to provide labor services against their will, while still others are forced to engage in commercial sex.
USPS Mail Carriers: Neighborhood Heroes
Letter carriers are the eyes and ears of the neighborhoods they serve. Nationwide, more than 300 letter carriers were honored in 2017 for their heroic deeds — everything from assisting the elderly to reporting house fires. In this case, 20-year postal veteran Ivan Crisostomo saved a teenager from the horrors of sex trafficki
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