Special Commitment Center employee prevents abduction

SCC RRC2 Kiaya Van Scoyoc prevented four teenage girls from being abducted on Sept. 5 in Spanaway.

The instinct to react in an instant is embedded deep within Kiaya Van Scoyoc.

That’s a benefit to society because the Special Commitment Center residential rehab counselor has found herself in such situations several times.

The most recent difference-making incident came Sept. 5 when she prevented three teenage girls from being abducted on a busy highway in Spanaway.

“When I look back, it happened so fast I don’t even recall having a fight or flight response,” Van Scoyoc said. “I didn’t hesitate to get involved. I don’t know the situation, but in no way should a grown man be chasing girls on a four-lane highway.”

Van Scoyoc and her fiancé Keano Riggs prevented potential tragedy by getting the frightened girls into their vehicle, fending off their pursuer and calling the police.

It happened quickly and could have been dangerous. Van Scoyoc said she swerved her car to block traffic on the four-lane highway so one girl could get in her car. While that was happening, the pursuer also tried to get in the vehicle. He also attempted to get in the car when Van Scoyoc stopped again to pick up the other girls and was only thwarted when Riggs physically stopped him.

“The guy said ‘Give me one of them. I just want one,’” Van Scoyoc recalled.

Police arrived soon thereafter and the man was arrested.

“There is so much going on and so much to think about (in these moments), but I reason that everything ends up OK because of my faith,” she said.

The constant awareness and ability to react to a crisis are traits that Van Scoyoc have relied on before. Last fall she saved the life of a choking SCC resident.

“It’s not about me being rewarded or seen as a hero, it’s about creating awareness,” Van Scoyoc said. “I want people driving down the road or in a restaurant to keep their eyes open because everything is just a matter of seconds.”