‘She looked bad:’ Observant store clerk saves teenage girl from alleged abuse

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WXIX) – A convenience store worker is credited with saving a teenager from alleged abuse by his stepfather after acknowledging the teenager’s injuries during a chance encounter last month.

Rebecca Austin works at the Hamilton Quick Mart on Fairgrove Avenue, where the teenager appeared on August 15 or 16, according to Fairfield Township police.

Austin says the teenager entered the store “dazed and confused”, walked a bit and approached the counter. She only had a dollar in her pocket, Austin said. She asked if there was anything she could buy with it.

Still at that moment, Austin hadn’t looked up. When she did, she says she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“She had all these marks and bruises,” Austin said. “We first thought she had a choker that the kids wore, but it was a bruise from the ties he used on her.”

Austin let the girl keep her money. She then gave her a sandwich and a soft drink before approaching her to ask who had hurt her.

“She said nobody – ‘I fell on a hill,'” Austin recalled.

She immediately knew it was a lie.

“I said no, because his eyes…the blood vessels in them were broken,” Austin said. “His face was bruised. She looked bad.

Fairfield Township police later confirmed that the teenager had injuries to her eyes, neck and wrists as well as burns to her palms.

Eventually, Austin took the teenager outside, where she became visibly anxious.

“She kept saying, ‘If my stepdad comes by, he’ll see me and make me leave,'” Austin said. “I said, ‘Nobody’s going to make you leave.'”

The teenager was shaking, Austin recalled. Then she told Austin some things her family members had supposedly told her, a combination of threats and alleged lies to keep her from running away.

“If she called the cops, they [the police] would be mean to her,” Austin said. “They didn’t want to help him. And if she went into foster care, they would have to kill a child to get her there.

Rebecca managed to calm the teenager down. She then called 911.

It was a situation that came to light on Wednesday, a month after the teenager’s stepfather, James Evans, admitted to police that he bound her feet with a ratchet strap and tied her up to a bed.

James Evans claimed he did so, according to a police body camera recording obtained by FOX19, because the girl allegedly threatened to kill him and the girl’s mother and stepfather.

He said he woke up to the teenager standing over his head with a kitchen knife. It is unclear when this would have happened, but the officer deduced it had happened the previous night and asked if Evans had called the police. Evans replied no.

He told the officer that the ties were meant to prevent the girl from running away. He also vaguely mentioned their hope that she would see a counselor.

Police say Sarah Evans, the teenager’s mother, released her at least once to use the bathroom, but then tied her up.

It is unclear whether the alleged abuse occurred on more than one occasion, or how the girl escaped and came to the convenience store.

EMS transported her to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Liberty Township due to the severity of her injuries. She is currently in child care.

Police arrested James Evans immediately after his admission on August 16.

They say other children have also been removed from the Evans home.

The teenager’s step-grandfather, Robert Evans, is also said to have been aware of the situation.

“If you are a parent or guardian and you know that a child in your care is being abused, and you do nothing, you could easily be subject to criminal liability and charged for it,” he said. explained the Fairfield police sergeant. Brandon McCroskey. “I’ve had a few instances myself where this has happened, this being one of them.”

The three Evans face a total of 14 criminal charges related to kidnapping and endangering children.

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