Good Samaritan takes
ride of his life
If he sees someone broken down on the side of the road or observes a car struggling in the snow, he’ll stop in his tracks to offer a lending hand.
A parent of two young children and a construction manager for DR Horton, Lucas is candid about his helping nature and has an aversion to being called a ‘hero’. He claims he’s only doing the right thing, maintaining that any reasonable person would do likewise.
After last week’s harrowing escapade, however, Lucas is reevaluating his Good Samaritan inclinations
“I just pull over to help if I see something wrong,” he explained. “But I never imagined it would result in my truck being stolen.”
On January 18, when Lucas witnessed a car accident on 180th Street SE and 35th Avenue SE in Clearview, he did what he’s always done: stopped to see if the people involved were alright.
“Everyone seemed to be okay, and got out of their cars,” Lucas said.
Then, without warning, Lucas found himself in equally dire circumstances.
While Lucas was busy evaluating the scene, a driver in the crash ran out and hopped into Lucas’ 2006 Ford F-350 and drove off.
According to records, the man, Trinidad Mendoza, had a warrant out for his arrest and was desperate to flee.
“It was a weird feeling,” Lucas said. “Here I’m trying to help the guy and all of a sudden he takes my truck.”
Not knowing what exactly to do, but determined to stop the man and repossess his truck, Lucas instinctively jumped in the back of the moving vehicle.
“I didn’t really know how to get to him, since the truck was moving,” he recalled.
Speeding down Highway 9 at 70 miles an hour, Mendoza swerved hitting road signs in an apparent attempt to throw Lucas from the vehicle.
Lucas’ determination to stop the truck proved to be as relentless as his opponent’s determination to take it.
“I began kicking in the back window and when I broke through, I grabbed some construction plans I had in the back seat and started hitting him.”
It took a while, but Lucas’ persistence finally caused Mendoza to stop at which point Lucas fought him to the ground. With the help of two witnesses Mendoza was held down, wrists cuffed with plastic zip ties, until police arrived.
According to Snohomish County Jail, Mendoza is being held on $15,000 bail on charges of theft in the 1st degree, reckless endangerment, and a warrant for parole violations from a previous assault charge.
Lucas’ truck is now repaired, but he is upset about having to pay the steep deductible.
His wife Heidi is simply thankful that her husband isn’t injured.
“I didn’t know he was in the back of a moving truck, I just thought someone stole it,” she said. “It wasn’t until I was on my way to get him when I learned what he’d been doing. I asked him to please not to ever do something like that again! When I saw him, I just hugged him and hugged him.”
While he’s feeling more reluctant to help these days, Lucas’ helping nature isn’t permanently injured.
“Next time I stop, I’ll just be sure to take my keys out and lock my car,” he said.