While it’s definitely possible to be too paranoid about the world around us, the unfortunate reality is that we never really know when and where somebody will try to harm us.
Sadly, this seems especially true the younger and more vulnerable you are, as both videos recorded by youths involved in uncomfortable situations and security footage of their harrowing encounters makes clear.
And as one teen’s story reveals, even locations that seem safe can be thwarted by surprisingly simple means, which makes the story of how she avoided danger so important.
On May 16, TikTok user @braccozz warned others about a simple device that can be snaked under doors to bypass their locks.
A week later, another user named Josie Bowers released a series of TikToks in which she encountered someone using this exact device to try and force their way into the hotel she was staying at.
She said this incident occurred at a Hilton hotel in the part of Ocean City, Maryland that’s close to the Delaware border.
And it couldn’t have come at a worse time since she had finished showering while the rest of her family was down at a nearby beach. And because she was visiting from Canada, she didn’t have phone service.
Before she could react, the door had already started to open.
As she thought at the time, “I’m in a towel right now and someone’s about to break in and get me.”
So when the door had opened a crack, she slammed it shut and immediately fastened the deadbolt.
This surprised the intruders into going with their backup plan of pretending to be hotel employees.
When Bowers inquired further, they (not pictured) said they were there to fix the keypad on the door and needed to get in.
Bowers said she thought this was sketchy so she tried to get a glimpse of who she was dealing with.
In her words, “And so I open the door a tad bit, to see if it was a worker. It clearly wasn’t. They were in jeans and a T-shirt, Hilton keeps it pretty classy. Not the attire.”
This led her to act in a way that she said she feels very smart for doing.
She said that her stepfather is a police officer who taught her never to let anyone know you’re alone.
With that in mind, she yelled, “Hey dad, there’s someone here to fix the door.”
This led them to immediately run away, confirming that they were there for more sinister reasons.
Although this was clearly a scary experience for Bowers, she nonetheless said she’s glad she went through it so she could teach others about it.
As she put it, “Obviously, I’m safe but it could have ended up a lot worse.”