LEXINGTON, Ky. —
Police in Kentucky are praising a pizza deliveryman who called 911 after witnessing something suspicious while dropping off food.
“In November 2018, Mr. Mark Buede was delivering pizza to a local motel when he saw something that didn’t seem right,” Lexington police wrote on Twitter.
Buede told the Lexington Herald Leader that when he knocked on the door, a man opened up, and, “There was a little girl that didn’t have any clothes on” on the bed behind him.
“I didn’t know what was going on,” Buede said. “I just knew it wasn’t right.”
Buede called 911 and three Lexington officers responded to the motel. After knocking on the door, officers heard a scream from a young girl. Inside the room, police found two girls hiding behind a bed.
“This discovery led the officers to begin an in-depth investigation, which included ensuring the safety of the girls. Over the course of a few hours, probable cause was developed indicating that the man had been abusing his daughters,” police said.
Lexington police said had Buede not intervened, the girls would have suffered further abuse.
“I’ve got kids,” Buede said. “I’m going to protect kids if I can.”
The call ultimately led to the arrest of Justin Elam, 36, who was charged with multiple counts of rape and sexual abuse, NBC News reports.
Buede received a public service medal for his efforts, and officers William Phillips, Zakary Ridener and Corey Sutton were presented with professional esteem awards for their work on the case.
Buede has worked at Papa John’s Lexington location for more than four years.
“We are so thankful for team members like Mark Buede – he chose to take action and it made a difference. We are proud to have him in the Papa John’s family,” a spokesperson said Thursday.