The Valley awoke to a much-needed downpour on the morning of February 23rd, but by that afternoon the skies had cleared and the sun was out. It was just another day for Patro Bryant, an administrative assistant in the Department of Social Work Education’s Title IV-E program. But little did he know that his day was about to get a lot more interesting.
Around 1 p.m. that afternoon, Bryant left the Fresno State Campus and headed eastbound on Gettysburg, toward his destination – home. It’s a routine trip he’s taken for the past three years while employed at Fresno State. He was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Gettysburg and Willow for a few minutes. When the light turned green, he accelerated – but what he saw next stopped him right in his tracks.
“All of a sudden, I see a lady run the red light heading west toward Willow,” Bryant said. “Inside the car, I saw her shaking and I knew something was not right. Even though she was going in the right direction, she had no control over her vehicle. It just wasn’t normal.”
What happened next was like a scene plucked right out of an action movie. Bryant, without any regard for his own safety, jumped into action. After quickly putting his car in park, he jumped out and ran towards the woman’s car, which was going about 10 mph at the time. Bryant, along with another good samaritan, ran alongside the car while trying to break open the window in a valiant effort to stop the car before it caused damage to others.
At first Bryant tried to break the car window with his elbows, but was not able to crack the thick glass. Due to some quick thinking, Bryant remembered he had a pocketknife in his pocket. He pulled it out and with the heavy side of the handle, was able to shatter the car window after a couple of tries. He was then able to reach into the moving car to put on the brakes.
“We knew we had to stop her car,” said Bryant. “She was heading into oncoming traffic.”
The whole incident was over in a matter of minutes, and more importantly, nobody was injured. According to Bryant, the woman in the car continued to have seizures for the next three minutes, but eventually regained consciousness, although very disoriented. She was seen by paramedics and taken away in an ambulance, before she could meet the men that saved her life.
As for Bryant, he came away with just a few scratches from the broken glass, but was otherwise fine. He said in emergency situations that arise, he tries his best to step forward and help others.
In fact, this isn’t the first time Bryant has jumped into action. About two months ago while at the car wash, he thwarted a strong-arm robbery. He witnessed a female nearby getting mugged by a man, who was trying to steal her purse. Upon seeing this and without any hesitation on his part, Bryant chased down the suspect, who was later arrested. The female got her purse back thanks to Bryant.
Despite all of his heroic actions, Bryant remains humble and insists he is just doing the right thing.
“It’s no problem. I just want to be able to help others, especially in situations like that. They even call me Superman in the office now,” he said with a laugh.
We applaud Patro’s extraordinary compassion and heroism and are proud to have him on the CHHS team. The next time you see him around campus, let him know he is a HERO. Way to go Patro!