A terror-stricken woman hunted by her deranged ex-boyfriend found refuge in the unlikeliest of places. Her life was saved and three young men became unexpected heroes.
The young woman, who remains unidentified, was the office manager for a Chicago-based dentist. She had gone into work that day, never anticipating the panic that was about to engulf her.
Her ex-boyfriend showed up to the office carrying “a small assault rifle.” Although others reported his demeanor was initially calm, she knew her life was on the line.
She fled into the back alley and encountered three movers: Josh Lara, Cody Grandt, and Mike Zaininger. That’s when the young men, working for the aptly named Wisdom Moving Company, demonstrated some judiciousness of their own.
Zaininger reported that “She knew she was being looked for, the way she was hiding. Our immediate reaction was, ‘Get in the truck.’” Knowing their truck would provide the perfect cover, they quickly ushered her inside.
“We brought her into the truck, and there were stacks of boxes so we were kind of hiding behind the boxes,” Lara recalled. They quickly transported her away from the scene — and delivered her to safety in the process.
When the assailant, later identified as Clint Engle, could not find the woman, he took his own life. He was found in the alley behind the dentist office, the young woman just narrowly escaping him.
The terrified woman had suffered a long history of domestic abuse at the hands of Engle. In fact, years ago he broke into her home and attacked her father — who was asleep at the time — with a golf club “because he believed that the father would not allow him to date the daughter.”
Engle spent over ten years in prison for home invasion and aggravated battery as a result of the attack. After his release, his anger at his ex-girlfriend was not diminished, but had, in fact, only intensified.
Police reported the movers’ quick thinking saved the woman’s life. “If we weren’t there she would have been done, she would have been seen running down the alley,” Grandt said.
Months later, the three were honored. The trio, accompanied by their families, received an official proclamation thanking them for their “remarkable display of courage and quick-thinking.”
For their part, they are just happy to have helped someone in need. “It was just our instinct to try and protect and help her,” Lara said.