Deputy helps lost man find his car and install new alternator

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM COUNTY – Law enforcement’s motto is “to serve and protect”, well a Graham County Sheriff’s Office deputy exemplified that last Saturday when he assisted an elderly man with replacing his car’s alternator.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, the man said a couple of people had paid him $400 for a ride from Texas to California but that he had broken down multiple times on the way and the people had hitched a ride with someone else. 

He began to attempt to return to Texas and broke down at Three-Way. At that time, a NAPA Auto Parts employee from Clifton sold the man a battery and helped him install it in his car. 

Later on that same night, however, his car broke down again. The man eventually found a ride into Thatcher, where he purchased an alternator from O’Reilly Auto Parts. 

An employee with O’Reilly drove the man around to find his car but the man was disoriented and was not able to accurately describe where he had left it. 

The O’Reilly employee then called Graham County Dispatch, and a deputy met the pair at the Circle K in east Safford. 

Another deputy located the man’s car roughly 23 miles east of Safford on U.S. Highway 70 and the first deputy gave the man a ride to his vehicle. 

The deputy then helped the man install the new alternator and made sure the car was in working condition. The deputy then drew the man a map and instructed him to stay on U.S. Highway 70 until the intersection with Interstate 10 and then to head east on I-10 to make it back to Texas. 

The man thanked the deputy and left eastbound on U.S. Highway 70.