Annabelle Ridgeway, from Northeast Philadelphia, is a little girl who knows what she wants.
According to her mother, the independent four-year-old has a serious sweet tooth and loves slurping back frozen slushie drinks.
A few years back in March of 2015, however, Anabelle made national headlines when she snuck out of the house at 3 am in search of her beloved drink.
That night, Anabelle snuck out of the house through the back door and boarded a bus at 3 AM in the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia.
In the bus’s surveillance footage, you can see the tiny blonde girl boarding the bus by herself. She was dressed in a purple coat and boots and promptly sat down as the passengers examined her curiously.
Harlan Jenifer, the bus driver, was shocked to see a little girl wandering the streets alone at such an hour.
“You got to be kidding me! At this time, at 3 o’clock in the morning,” he recalled in an interview with 6ABC.
“She’s a small little thing it kind of just shocked me.”
In the footage, Anabelle looks cheerful as she sits on the seat, swinging her legs.
“All I want is a slushie,” the little girl chanted, according to media reports.
“She had her mind set because I knew what she wanted,” Harlan told Fox2 Now. “‘All I want is a slushie.’ That’s all she said.”
When Harlan saw the little girl out by herself, his instincts quickly kicked in. He told The Sun UK: “I immediately did what any father would do and stopped the bus and called the police.”
“She knew exactly where she was going,” he added.
“So she must’ve traveled that route before. She had to.”
When police arrived on the scene, Anabelle was taken to the hospital to check for injuries and reunited with her parents within an hour.
When Jaclyn and Timothy Ridgeway heard what their daughter was up to, they were shocked. They didn’t even realize their daughter had snuck out the back door.
It seems Anabelle hasn’t given up on her slushie dreams, however. In an interview with Global News, Jaclyn tells her: “I will take you to buy a new slushie. But promise me next time you’ll wait for me, OK?”
In an interview with 6ABC, the parents expressed their thanks to Harlan for contacting authorities when he did.
“My mind is wanting to go places, it’s hard not to,” the girl’s father told them.
“Thank God for the bus driver.”
“There are no words; he saved my daughter’s life,” Jaclyn added. “I’ll forever be grateful.”
Anabelle’s story was originally reported by Reuters News and quickly went viral from there. People were both amused by the little girl’s tenacity and grateful for Harlan’s help in what could have been a tragic situation.
“Damn she is 4 year old? She is smart….i mean not for what she did, but that she knew how to do it in a way.”
“Thank good she is safe and nothing happened to her. Someone BUY her a SLUSH machine for Xmas!”
See it for yourself below!
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