You never know when danger will come knocking — which is why this TikToker’s safety tip is essential!
Josie Bowers went viral on the video sharing platform over the weekend for explaining how she once eluded two men who were trying to break into her hotel room while she was vacationing with her family when she was just 15 years old.
In the vid, the now-19-year-old duetted another TikTok that showed a wire device being used to slide under a door and open it from the inside. Josie told BuzzFeed the device in the video was similar to the one she saw when she was alone in a Hilton hotel room and just about to take a shower. She recalled:
“I quickly wrapped a towel around myself and went into the living room to see what was. What I saw was very similar to the device shown in my TikTok. I quickly realized that this contraption was being used to open my hotel room door from the inside, and launched forward to slam the door shut as it started to open a crack.”
On the other side of the closed door, the teen heard two men talking to each other before one of them claimed to her that they were hotel workers who were just performing “room maintenance” to “fix her door.”
Video: Did This TikTok Just Solve An 18-Year-Old Kidnapping Case?!
Josie opened the door a crack to get a quick look at the men and immediately realized they weren’t Hilton staff members. She recounted:
“My main thought was that I was only in my towel, and I didn’t have time to get dressed. My other thought was, do these men have weapons? If I stop them, are they going to try and hurt me or use force? I didn’t want to be aggressive in questioning them, because I was unsure of how they would react. I was very young and confused by the situation. I didn’t want to refuse them access to the room and create a scene if they were there to do a job. It was embarrassing to think they were potentially workers that I had locked out. This is why I opened the door a crack. I was afraid to be rude to people who announced themselves as employees.”
But she still needed to get rid of them.
Fortunately, Josie followed advice that her stepdad — a police officer — gave her: never let intruders know you’re alone. She continued:
“I pretended to call out to my dad by saying, ‘Dad, there are people here to fix the door.’ I’m guessing once these men realized I was not alone and they might potentially come face-to-face with my father, they bolted.”
Wow, smart thinking!
Josie confessed that although she never planned on sharing her story with the public, she wanted to let others know after she saw the device pop up on her “For You Page,” noting:
“I thought hopefully some people could learn from it. I could never fully explain what happened to me properly, but having this demonstration to show my family has really made them more understanding of what went down that day.”
Great to hear!
Sadly, however, not everyone believed her story. Critics accused the teen of lying and asked why she reacted the way she did during the harrowing ordeal — but Josie is unfazed by the skepticism. She said:
“I’ve been in contact with Hilton and they are currently reviewing my stay and the service report that was made that day. I’m not fazed by the people who call me a liar because I’m just happy I can share my experience and connect with others. It’s not that crazy of a story. It’s actually a very simple version of breaking and entering, and something that’s common in hotels.”
Josie went on to say that her story shows how “there are always situations that can occur and jeopardize your safety” even in supposedly safe places, like hotels, and that it’s “important as a woman to never travel alone and to consider investing in special devices that prevent things like this from happening.”
She then offered some potentially life-saving tips for traveling:
“Always lock the deadbolt if everyone is in your room, invest in safety devices such as extra locks, and never travel alone, especially when you do not have cellphone service.”
At the end of the day, Josie said she’s glad her tale could help others. She concluded:
“I am happy in the long run that I went through this experience, so that I could share it with 10 million people and perhaps save someone’s life, or make someone aware of a threat they never would’ve considered before seeing my video.”
Way to spread awareness, gurl!
Ch-ch-check out Josie’s TikToks on the subject (below) for more.
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