YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsGood Samaritans

Good Samaritans

His grandfather was a forced laborer in Japan's coal mines, but college student Lee Soo Hyun came from South Korea to Tokyo voluntarily to study Japanese and build bridges between the two countries. Over the weekend, the 26-year-old Lee died a hero to both nations. He and another good Samaritan, a Japanese photographer, were hit by a train Friday night as they tried to rescue an apparently drunk man who had fallen onto the tracks.
February 11, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez
A good Samaritan saved a Riverside County man being mauled by pit bulls by ramming his van through a chain-link fence and scaring the dogs away, officials said Tuesday night. The 53-year-old victim was being attacked by at least two dogs when the good Samaritan drove by the Lake Elsinore scene around 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. "The dogs scurried away when the man's van busted through the gate," department spokesman John Welsh said.
June 8, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
The state Supreme Court threw out the death sentence of a good Samaritan who saved two people's lives, then wound up on death row for killing an elderly woman two years later. The court ruled in Atlanta that William Marvin Gulley's lawyers should have presented the evidence of his good deeds to jurors. Gulley will be resentenced for killing an 81-year-old Albany woman and raping her 60-year-old daughter in 1994. "Whatever our own opinions may be about the sentencing verdict in this case ...
January 30, 2014 | By John M. Glionna
Call it a gesture of airborne hospitality in a community's time of need: In Alabama, one of several Southern states hit by a freak snowstorm this week, Birmingham-area resident David Upton flew his company helicopter and ferried away nearly a dozen people stranded in their cars and in medical need. There was the pregnant woman and her young son desperately seeking to get home; the sick man who needed a ride from work and a woman who needed a lift home from a hospital. At 52, Upton, co-owner of a company called Cranweorks, is used to using big equipment to help people out of professional jams.
June 23, 1992
A good Samaritan chased two men who allegedly robbed a Palmdale record store at gunpoint, tackling one of them in the desert and holding him at bay until authorities arrived, authorities said. James Whiles, 40, and Steven Weilbacher, 41, both of Lancaster, were being held at the Antelope Valley Sheriff's station on suspicion of armed robbery, Sgt. Paul Kaser said. Whiles and Weilbacher are suspected of robbing Wherehouse Records in Palmdale of $450 about 6 p.m. Monday.
November 20, 1990
A City Council committee asked city attorneys Monday to examine whether Los Angeles should pay legal fees for "good Samaritans" who are sued after helping city employees during rescue operations.
December 20, 1995
If the holiday blues get to the point where you're feeling desperate, be sure to e-mail Samaritans, a nonprofit organization in England that offers understanding and support. Just send a message to, or e-mail anonymously by sending your message to Either way, a person will respond.
November 15, 1995 | KATE FOLMAR
When Jorge Elias of Reseda saw the overturned police car at the intersection of White Oak Avenue and Sherman Way, his only thought was to help the officers trapped inside the burning vehicle. Elias and his brother, Javier, were among a handful of Good Samaritans who rushed to the accident scene Nov. 4 after a woman driving an Acura ran two red lights and broadsided the patrol car, killing herself and Officer Gabriel Perez-Negron and severely injuring Officer Martin Guerrero.
A treasured macaw that disappeared Monday from outside City of Hope Cancer Center, where its owner had been visiting his wife, was recovered Wednesday. Michael Bojorquez, 48, of Montebello said he took the bird because he feared for its safety and that he had been trying to find the owner. The 5-year-old bird had been in its usual perch in a tree while its owner, Barry Schmit, 43, of Claremont was in the hospital.
August 10, 1997
A Newport Beach man who stopped to help a stranded motorist at the junction of the Santa Ana and Orange freeways was critically injured early Saturday when a Chevrolet truck swerved into the woman's parked car, the California Highway Patrol said. Thomas Patrick Lee Selig, 34, was adjusting a jack under the woman's car about 1 a.m. when the truck hit, CHP Sgt. Mike Fassnach said.
January 24, 2014 | By Ari Bloomekatz
The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement Friday that began simply: "Harbor Station had an eventful day yesterday. " At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, authorities said a man walked into the station and said he had a bomb in his truck that he wanted to turn over to authorities.  "He says he found it and wanted to be a good Samaritan," said Sgt. Jerry Davila. "I don't know where he found it, but like I said, he was trying to be a good Samaritan with it. " The station was temporarily evacuated and the parking lot shut down for a couple of hours while a bomb squad investigated what the man had brought.
January 15, 2014 | By Robin Abcarian
Call it the proposed Spoiled Brat Law. Last month, after a 16-year-old Texas boy said to be suffering from “affluenza” was sentenced to rehab instead of prison for killing four people and maiming two others in a drunk-driving crash, California Assemblyman Mike Gatto wondered whether an attorney could raise the same kind of defense in this state. As he discovered, there was nothing to prevent it. On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Democrat introduced a bill -- possibly the first in the country -- that would prohibit attorneys from invoking “affluenza” as a defense at trial or as a mitigating factor for sentencing.
October 25, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
One person was killed and another arrested--after a good Samaritan chased him--following an early Friday morning hit-and-run in East Hollywood, authorities said. A driver in a car traveling eastbound on Santa Monica Boulevard near Normandie Avenue struck a pedestrian in a crosswalk about 1:50 a.m., said officer Rosario Herrera of the Los Angeles Police Department. "The suspect fled the location, but was later detained," Herrera said.  The male victim, who was not immediately identified, was taken to a hospital, where he died.
October 21, 2013 | By John M. Glionna and Matt Pearce
LAS VEGAS - Visitors at Ballys casino on the Strip, where a gunman killed one patron and injured two employees Monday, say they're not shocked by the shooting -- stressing that violence can erupt anywhere, even in a gambling mecca where operators try to create a bubble of free-spirited carelessness. “I guess they could increase security,” said Barry Leeming, a British citizen who wandered among slot machines hours after an argument over a cover charge at the Drai's After Hours nightclub led to the death of a “good Samaritan” club patron who tried to stop the altercation, which left three others wounded, including the suspect.
April 18, 2013 | Alana Semuels, Molly Hennessy-Fiske and Maeve Reston
In the chaos that descended on Boston's Boylston Street after two bombs detonated at the finish line of the city's beloved marathon, heroes emerged from every direction. A young surgical intern who had just finished a 14-hour hospital shift pushed his way through the police lines to treat victims at the end of a marathon route. An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan soothed a gravely wounded young woman by showing her his own shrapnel scars, assuring her that she would survive.
August 31, 2012 | By Karin Klein
Of course it's good news that private donations were quickly raised to cover the ambulance fees for two women who were accidentally electrocuted as they tried to help at the scene of an accident so that their families will not have this insult added to their grief.  But this is just the latest in a long series of tears in the communal fabric that now add up to a gigantic hole in our willingness and ability to help each others. People are outraged that there are no waivers for people like Stacey Schreiber, 39, of Valley Village and Irma Zamora, 40, of Burbank.
May 22, 1991
A man posing as a Good Samaritan offered to help a motorist whose car had stalled, then robbed him and shot him to death, police said Tuesday. Eulalio Moya, 26, of Los Angeles, died at the scene of the 12:05 a.m. shooting in Southwest Los Angeles, said Detective Lionel Robert. The car in which Moya and a cousin were riding had stalled on West 35th Place because of battery trouble, Robert said. Three men approached in another car and offered to push Moya's vehicle to the side, he said.
August 22, 1989 | STEVE EMMONS, Times Staff Writer
Bobbie Lynn Beal's escape plan depended on finding a sympathetic and helpful motorist, according to Orange County sheriff's deputies. It went wrong Monday when the motorist turned out to be entirely too helpful. Beal, 21, a prisoner at the county honor farm in El Toro, was one of nine women on a work gang cleaning up El Toro Park at Jeronimo Road and Los Alisos Boulevard on Monday morning, authorities said. About 11:35 a.m.
May 16, 2012 | By Nita Lelyveld, Los Angeles Times
Cycling on the streets of Los Angeles has never been for the faint of heart. The roads are crowded. Drivers are distracted. Potholes can be perilous. So can car doors, suddenly swung open. Even the mayor is not immune. Two years ago, when a taxi pulled out in front of him on Venice Boulevard, he flew off his bike and broke his elbow. It's no wonder some cyclists seek out whatever help they can get — be it designated bike lanes, bike paths or even bike blessings. On Tuesday, as part of Bike Week L.A., dozens of cyclists rode to Good Samaritan Hospital for the ninth annual Blessing of the Bicycles.
November 4, 2011 | By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times
How do you turn Bad Samaritans good? The question has become a national obsession since the shocking death of a 2-year-old named Yueyue who was ignored by 18 passersby as she lay bleeding on the street after a hit-and-run last month in southern China. Nearly every day brings a new outrage — an 88-year-old man suffocating in his own blood after falling and breaking a nose, people rushing to photograph a suicide attempt without bothering to help — and another hand-wringing editorial about how to cultivate the kindness of strangers.
Los Angeles Times Articles