A 47-year-old man from Turlock, California, who quickly disappeared after saving a man from a burning car last April 14, has finally come to the open in the hope that the public would financially help the family of the man he saved.
The Mysterious Good Samaritan's Past
KCRA 3 reported that Floyde Watts, Jr. remained anonymous even though he came forward in the last week of April. It was only last week that he sought an interview with the media station because he wanted to help the man he saved from the burning car--Robert Arndt--who is still confined in the hospital.
Arndt is said to be a military veteran who has been homeless for two decades while suffering from schizophrenia and struggling with drug issues. Arndt's father, Daniel, has been in contact with Watts and has told him how grateful he is for saving his son. Daniel, who lives in Indiana, also told Watts how he longs to see his son in person but is short of funds.
"I mean, not everybody would have done what he did. I think he's (Floyde) a great person. I mean, I really appreciate what he did for my son. If not, I'd be making funeral arrangements, instead of raising enough money to go see him," Daniel told KCRA 3.
Daniel explained that he wanted to see his son to know the extent of his burns. He said Arndt has undergone several surgeries, with the last one on May 12 where his two toes and three fingers were amputated.
Meanwhile, Watts explained that he immediately left the scene that night he saved Arndt because he was afraid to be caught by the police. Watts said that the Tuolumne County has a warrant issued for his arrest for drug possession charges from a 2020 incident. But now, he said, accountability has helped him overcome his fears. He stressed his desire that people would donate money so that Daniel can come to Turlock and be with his son.
"That's what I want--that's my reward. I want him to have his father here," Watts said.
Also Read: Brave Samaritan Saves Woman From Attempted Kidnapping, Rescue Caught On Cam
Watts, who suffered burns in his hands when he opened the flaming car, said he is ready now to face his misdemeanor drug possession charges and their consequences. He stressed that if that is what he has to do then he will do it.
The Night A Mysterious Good Samaritan Saved A Life
According to reports, the Turlock Police Department announced to the public last month that they are searching for a good Samaritan who happened to be nearby when a car parked on D Street caught fire around midnight. The police said firefighters arrived in response to calls from two witnesses who heard the explosion of the vehicle's tires due to the fire. The firefighters then found Arndt with severe burns in an alley near the burning car. Arndt was taken to a nearby hospital and police said he will live.
The police said the cause of the fire is still under investigation but they were able to gather video evidence that explained what happened that night. The video came from a nearby surveillance camera and showed that Arndt was in the backseat of the blazing vehicle when Watts pulled him out to safety amidst explosions. Turlock Police Department Detective Brandon Bertram highlighted that had it not been for the good Samaritan's heroic efforts, their investigation would have looked very different since he saved a man's life.
Watts shared that he really didn't know what he was doing that night. Watts said he was looking for recyclables when he heard cries for help. He recounted hesitating at first out of not knowing what to do, but his conscience urged him to do something about it. He eventually found himself actually prying onto the passenger-side door to get Arndt out. He said it burnt his hands doing so but he continued upon hearing screams for help from inside the car.
One of the witnesses, Turlock Gospel Mission front desk receptionist Ashley Frasier, recounted to Good Day Sacramento hearing loud explosions that prompted her to look for the source of the sound. Frasier immediately recognized the car and knew that it belonged to one of their mission's clients. The receptionist shared how horrified she felt not being able to do anything to help as she witnessed the car in flames. She said all she could do was sit back and hope that God is keeping them safe.
Asked about the Good Samaritan, Frasier replied, "I would say more like an angel just, because to do something and put your life in danger and to not be want to be seen for it and not want to get that credit for it, I think that's a lot."
Related News: Good Samaritan Lends Her Medieval Irish Castle To Ukrainian Refugees