Two California Highway Patrol officers are being praised for their quick and noble actions when an elderly woman arrived at the Santa Barbara CHP office seeking help.
CHP Officer Jonathan Gutierrez says 90-year-old Rita, a resident of Solvang, stopped at the CHP office on Dec. 8 at about 12:30 p.m. after hearing a noise coming from her car’s engine. She wanted to know directions to the nearest auto service shop.
Officers Chapman and McClellan volunteered to drive her and her car to the Jiffy Lube located at 6015 Hollister Avenue.
Minutes after dropping Ms. Rita off at the auto shop, Officer Chapman received a call from Jiffy Lube, informing him of the car issue and that Ms. Rita did not have the necessary funds to pay for the $100 repair. Officers Chapman and McClellan offered to pay for the repair.
This kind gesture proved too much for Ms. Rita who began to cry and expressed her gratitude to the two officers. She told them how she’s recently experienced medical issues and her only relative was not able to help her.
Unfortunately, upon further inspection of Ms. Rita’s car, Angel, a mechanic at Jiffy Lube, discovered the issue was with the car’s bearings, which was something the shop couldn’t fix. The mechanic did, however, say the car could be driven back to Ms. Rita’s home.
Without thinking twice, Officer Chapman got behind the wheel of Ms. Rita’s car with her in the passenger seat and drove her back home to Solvang as Officer McClellan followed in their patrol vehicle. Ms. Rita was thankful to both officers. She gave Officer Chapman a hug and kiss on the cheek, and asked for their addresses so that she could send a Christmas card.
We give a tip of the hat to these fine officers who took their oath to protect and serve our community seriously, and provided an indispensable service getting Ms. Rita and her car safely back to her home.