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Letter carrier praised for saving teen from sex trafficking in Sacramento, California

A U.S. Postal Service worker was called a hero by law enforcement officials for helping a teenager escape a group of sex traffickers who were reportedly holding her captive. This file photo shows a postal worker at a Processing and Distribution Center in Miami. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

United States Postal Service letter carrier Ivan Crisostomo is being called a hero for rescuing a 16-year old girl from sex trafficking in Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV reported.

The victim, identified only as Crystal, was reportedly brought to Sacramento by someone she thought was a friend. But she soon found herself caught in “a world of drugs and sex trafficking,” according to KOVR.

What happened?

While Crystal was riding with her captors in an Oak Park neighborhood, she overheard them talking about committing a crime, the report states. When she saw the opportunity, Crystal grabbed one of her captor’s phones as she jumped out of the car and ran.

Crisostomo was delivering mail in the area when he found Crystal.

“I heard this crying when I came out of the vehicle, so I approached her and I asked her...She was afraid, she didn’t want to talk,” he told the TV station.

Crystal recalled how she felt when Crisostomo stepped in.

“It was kind of like an adrenaline rush, ‘cause I felt like I was being saved,” Crystal told KOVR.

Crisostomo helped Crystal call her mom, even though she was terrified the alleged sex traffickers would find her.

“Terror...She was frantic...I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t even talk to her she was so upset and that’s when I told her she had to reach out to someone for safety and she gave the phone to Ivan and he instantly kicked into gear and told me he’d save my daughter,” said Crystal’s mom, who was identified only as Stacey.

Crisostomo allowed Crystal to sit with him in his postal truck until sheriff deputies arrived, the report states.

What did the sheriff's department say?

“The area where she was found is a notoriously high crime area, lots of drugs, prostitution, gangs in that area, so Ivan standing by with her really provided that comfort, that safety and security until officers could arrive,” Latoya Buford of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department told the TV station.

Deputy David Cuneo praised the postal carrier for stepping in.

“What Ivan did was wonderful. He stepped where a lot of people would have continued driving down the road, and he made a huge positive impact in this young girl's life,” Cuneo said.

Crisostomo said he was honored to be able to help.

“The way I see her, she has a wonderful future ahead. She’s doing so well, I’m happy. I’m really happy,” Crisostomo said.

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