The role of the California Highway Patrol is one of safety, service, and security. That statement couldn't be truer than in the case of an elderly man who walked away from his care center and onto the 605 freeway.
"We were sitting in briefing and a call came out of a pedestrian on the freeway," CHP Officer Tyrell Breaker said.
Officer Breaker was a Cadet last December on a ride along with CHP Officer Giovanni Resendiz.
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"Out of nowhere, we see the elderly man walking with a piece of cardboard, right on the side of the freeway," Resendiz said.
The incident took place on a cold Sunday morning last December, and the traffic was light.
"We got out and got him into the car and got him off the freeway," Breaker said. "He had no ID. He wasn't making sense. He was saying things, but they just weren't right."
"I told him we could give him a ride home if you can tell me where you live," Resendiz.
"We are driving around and he's saying oh, it’s right here, it’s right here," said Breaker. "Just a little further and the next thing you know we are driving in circles."
A Downy police officer out on patrol suggested they try searching online.
"Officer Breaker looks him up on Facebook and eventually, sure enough, he's on the front page of missing and I'm like 'Wow, this is really good,'" Resendiz said. "We found him. We know who he is."
The man had wandered away from an activity center and had been missing for 14 hours.
"The activity center was close to 14 miles away, so in 14 hours he walked about 14 miles, maybe even more if he was on city streets," Breaker said.
"If that was my dad or grandfather I would want him to be treated the same," Resendiz said.
"The highway patrol is all about safety, service, and security and serving the community," Breaker said. "There is no better way than helping someone find their way home."