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Sapp Bros. cashier recognized for helping a woman who was sexually exploited

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 7:55 PM CDT
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JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (WIBW) - A truck stop cashier from Junction City has been recognized for her actions - saving a woman from a harmful situation.

Jessica Chapman is a cashier at Sapp Brothers Truck Center in Junction City. In April, a woman came into the store - and Jessica knew something was wrong.

“She was just really nervous, and she was trying to ask…I think she was trying to ask for cigarettes …but she couldn’t make a sentence.” Sapp Bros. Truck Center cashier Jessica Chapman says.

Chapman used training she received on how to identify possible victims of trafficking.

“I asked her if she was ok, and she told me that somebody had taken advantage of her and so I asked if she was going to be safe, she was just all over the place.” Chapman says.

Chapman noticed a man watching the woman - so she pretended to have the woman fill out a rewards program application to get more information. As the pair left, Chapman also got their license plate number.

“Just gotta be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to people because, you know, anybody could need help.” Chapman says.

Chapman contacted local police. With her quick thinking, they quickly located the man and woman.

“They said that she got away, which that’s all that I wanted.” Chapman says.

But Chapman also received something else — the 2021 Harriet Tubman Award presented by Protective Insurance from Truckers Against Trafficking. It’s the organization’s highest award.

“When it comes to people taking…being taken advantage of…I mean I take it… kind of personally.” Chapman says.

Chapman says the recognition still seems surreal, as she feels like she was just doing her job that night.

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