Manteca Ford owner Phil Waterford and his staff are stepping up to help a “Good Samaritan” replace his car that was stripped a week ago after a three-county police pursuit.
The suspect stole the car after Jesse Lemos stopped to assist a fatally injured motorcycle rider on Highway 99 in an accident the suspect is accused of causing. The suspect abandoned the 1996 Nissan Sentra in Delhi where it was subsequently stripped.
Lemos, a 24-year-old delivery man at Manteca’s Center Appliance Store, has no way of replacing his vehicle. He was also charged a $285 fee to get it out of the tow yard. Center Appliance launched a fund last week with $500 from the Fiore family toward either fixing or replacing the man’s vehicle.
Victor Fiore said the family would also match any donation up to $500 from the public to help in providing a vehicle for his worker.
Waterford, who just returned from a business trip out of state, said he read the newspaper story of the car being stripped with particular interest in doing something about the man’s need after seeing that he had helped another human being in distress.
“I would like to help,” Waterford said. “Phil Waterford’s Manteca Ford and our employees have decided to match what Center Appliance owner, Victor Fiore, has done to help this young man. Also, our dealership will adjust the price of any car this young man picks out to meet his needs.”
Waterford added that he is proud to be the Ford dealer in the Manteca community and really appreciates the community coming together to help each other.
“That’s what life is all about – people helping people,” he said. “We look forward to getting Jesse Lemos back on the road before the weekend.”
Waterford added that coincidentally all of the home appliances in his kitchen from the stainless steel refrigerator to the oven, trash compactor, and dishwasher all came from Center Appliance in Manteca.