Ex-convict misses job interview to save motorist; community rallies behind him
WABC-TV(BRIDGEPORT, Conn.) — Aaron Tucker was on his way to a job interview in Connecticut on Wednesday in hopes of turning his life around after serving nearly two years in prison.
The 32-year-old father had hopped on a public transportation bus near a halfway house in Bridgeport, where he’s been living since June after serving a prison sentence for a weapons charge. The bus was traveling through Westport when Tucker saw a serious car crash that left a vehicle overturned, according to ABC station WABC-TV.
Tucker jumped off the bus to help without hesitation, despite the bus driver informing him he wouldn’t be able to get back on.
“I asked the bus driver, ‘Are you going to help?'” he said in a recent interview with WABC-TV. “He said, ‘No, and if you get out, I’m going to leave you.’ I seen the car smoking up, and the bus driver was still talking. The car started smoking, so I just ran out.”
Tucker and employees from a nearby auto repair shop pulled the injured driver from the wrecked car. The male driver was transported to a local hospital. His condition is unknown.
“Someone needed my help, and that’s what I did,” Tucker told WABC-TV. “I helped them.”
Tucker missed his interview, but said he has no regrets.
“If it happened again, I’m going to continue to do it, because it’s the right thing,” he told WABC-TV.
Word of Tucker’s selfless act spread quickly throughout the affluent community of Westport. Resident Karin Dale called the halfway house where Tucker lives and spoke to him to get his permission to start a GoFundMe page on Thursday to raise money for him and his family to help get them back on their feet.
As of Saturday, the fundraising page had already secured more than $23,000 in donations from hundreds of people.
In addition to the monetary donations, Dale told ABC News that people have also offered clothes and help preparing for job interviews to Tucker as well as to other residents of the halfway house. Tucker is “overwhelmed” by the flood of donations and support, she said.
“No matter what happened in the past, he’s a good guy and he needs a break,” Dale told ABC News in a telephone interview Saturday. “I think he’s proven what his character’s like.”
Tucker insists he’s no hero and said the experience has been a humbling one. He plans to use some of the money raised to start a college fund for his son.
“I feel that they’re better people than me, taking the time out to help me and my son,” Tucker told WABC. “I appreciate that.”
Although Tucker missed his job interview Wednesday, Dale told ABC News that the employer gave Tucker a second chance and rescheduled the interview for Saturday afternoon. Dale offered to personally drive him to the interview in Stamford.
Dale said she and Tucker have been talking via telephone regularly over the past few days and have formed a friendship. They plan to take each of their sons out to dinner after Tucker’s interview to celebrate.
“He loves his boy. When he talks about him, he really genuinely beams through the phone,” Dale told ABC News. “He loves him and wants a different path for his son than he had. He didn’t have a dad in his life and he wants to break the cycle.”
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