Simon Masoud had trouble sleeping for months after the horror that happened in apartment 212.
A bloody, partially naked woman with her hands bound in front of her escaped from an apartment after being brutally attacked on Feb. 7.
Simon was standing at the bottom of the stairs when she escaped from the second-floor apartment.
“I remember the first night it happened I didn’t sleep. I closed my eyes and I’d hear her screaming,” he said.
“If I tried to sleep all I see is her running down the stairs.
“All this stuff was just stuck with me. Growing up in Canada, you don’t see this kind of stuff.”
Simon, 22, recently received an award from Surrey RCMP’s Officer in Charge Assistant Commissioner Dwayne McDonald for his efforts to help the woman that night.
In Simon’s commendation, McDonald said, “if it were not for Mr. Masoud’s response to the disturbance and the first aid he administered, the victim most certainly would have been more gravely injured.
“Mr. Simon Masoud’s heroic actions bring credit to him and are in keeping with the highest standards of a Canadian citizen.”
A HORRIFIC NIGHT
Simon recalled the traumatic night.
The Whalley apartments are located above the Masoud family’s Middle Eastern Friendship Centre, an organization founded in 2009 to provide support to refugees and other newcomers.
His father Adel received a call from a tenant in a neighbouring apartment that night.
The tenant said they heard shouting and things breaking in apartment 212.
Simon, along with his brother Mike and father Adel, arrived five minutes later.
Simon said they shouted up to the apartment when they first arrived.
A man popped his head out the window, and said he was fine and smiled, said Simon.
“He wasn’t just smiling, he was laughing almost.”
That’s when they heard the woman’s screams, he said.
“Help me, he want to kill me, help me, he want to kill me,” he recalled hearing.
His father told Simon to call police.
“Right after (the man) answered at the window, he quickly ran inside and what was going through my head was someone was grabbing him out of the window.
“We thought he was in trouble…. The next thing we know there’s a girl standing at the top of the stairs,” said Simon.
The family then held apartment 212’s door shut so whoever was inside couldn’t get out.
Simon guessed the woman was able to escape because her hands were tied in the front, not the back, enabling her to open the door.
“For me, when I first saw her, it was so much to process, I still didn’t know what was going on,” Simon recalled.
“When I saw her at the top of the stairs, I saw a person that had their hands tied, and a white shirt that was tinted red, and she came running down the stairs. She fell twice.
“First she stumbled and leaned on the wall then she fell the rest of the way down the stairs.
“She landed right in front of me,” he added.
“I was in shock.”
Simon said she had cuts to her neck.
“By the time I came to the front, I was on the phone with the cops, trying to tell them what was going on. They were trying to instruct me on what to do with her in order to keep her safe and keep her alive.
“We sat her on the ledge of the window out front and she kind of leaned over.”
Though he described significant injuries he said “not a single drop of blood was coming out” of her any longer.
“I know from watching movies and stuff, how much blood is supposed to come out… so for me, I thought, ‘How is she alive?’ I started screaming at the operator on the phone saying, ‘Where are you guys? She is literally dying right now.’”
When police arrived, Simon said she fell to the ground.
“I think all the adrenaline left and I think she finally just gave up, so when I saw that I went up to the street with my brother and I was saying on the phone, ‘She’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead. That’s it.’”
Simon said it took police about an hour to get the man to come out of the apartment.
“The thing that was so messed up to me was that when he came out, he walked out with a plain look on his face,” he recalled.
Simon said it was particularly hard to go into the apartment to clean up after police had wrapped up, said Simon, but added that he’s feeling better about things now, after more than a year has passed.
“One thing that really helped me was the whole time, after the incident, I kept thinking it’s good that she’s alive, at least she’s still alive.
“Then after she came and visited us, that really helped me, personally, get over it,” said Simon.
Kris Kelly, a Surrey man, was charged with attempted murder, aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement in connection to the attack.
Kelly pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge but Dan McLaughlin with Crown Counsel said “the matter was adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.”
Kelly is scheduled to appear in Surrey Provincial Court on June 29.
“It is expected that the remaining charges will be stayed at the completion of the sentence hearing,” McLaughlin added.
‘IN GOD’S HANDS’
The family opens the doors to its Friendship Centre to anyone in the community. Both Simon and father Adel said while that is still the case, they’re more cautious now.
“The job of a volunteer here is to welcome people, talk to people and get to know them,” explained Simon. “So you’re always opening up to people, people open up to you and you let people in. You throw this whole idea of what could happen away, then something like this happens and you just think, ‘What am I doing?’
“Thank God he didn’t do anything here,” said Adel.
“We can’t leave one person alone here, we need two or three people in the front here. It’s dangerous.”
At the time of the crime, police said the family’s “efforts were instrumental in helping officers apprehend the suspect.”
It’s recognition the family modestly accepted.
“We did nothing when we compare with some of the officer there,” said Adel of others who received awards from the Surrey RCMP at the Officer in Charge Awards.
“Everything is in God’s hands. Thank God we arrived at the right time.”