- Publish Date
- Thursday, 12 May 2016, 4:22PM
When three Auckland teenagers saw a pale, grubby boy scavenging for food in a rubbish bin, they could have brushed past him, as hundreds did.
Instead, the 14-year-old Epsom Girls Grammar School students ran to his aid, asked about his parents and if he needed food or money.
"He looked so lost. I thought if I was in that position, I'd hope that people would try to help me but heaps of people just walked past," student Rosalee Ray said.
Now a video of their actions has gone viral.
The boy was an actor in a series of New Zealand Police recruitment videos that test reactions to what officers experience daily.
"I was so emotionally confused. I gave him a big hug after we were told he was an actor," Rosalee said. "He'd looked so alone.
"I thought more people would have stopped but everyone seemed so concentrated on their own lives and getting where they were going.
"Some people even walked around him so they could still put rubbish in the bin."
The girls were three of only 10 who tried to help the boy out of about 500 who passed him on the Newmarket street on a March evening during the 35-minute social experiment.
"We were about to call the cops when the director came over and told us that it was a set-up."
The girls credited their families and school with teaching them to look out for others.