Hemet man’s kindness praised after helping young mom

HEMET — One man’s quick decision to help out a young mom after her vehicle got a flat tire has people from throughout the San Jacinto Valley and beyond praising the good Samaritan for his generosity and random act of kindness.

After hearing the woman’s truck tires were so bald she needed four new tires – a $1,400 expense which she could not afford – the man, who one witness described as “mister smooth and humble, with a big heart,” stepped up without hesitation and offered to purchase the much needed tires for the mother of two.


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The kind act, which happened at America’s Tire Company on Florida Ave. on Monday, was witnessed by several patrons and employees, as well as area resident Sergio Rodriguez. Rodriguez was so touched by the unexpected act of kindness he later shared what the man, identified only as Phil, had done to help the young mom, Alex Wood.

“A young lady named Alex with a little girl came in for a flat tire repair,” Rodriguez explained in a Facebook post. “Come to find out, the tires on her Silverado were all bald and in need of replacement.”

In his post, Rodriguez said Alex was “stressed because she couldn’t afford the tires,” but “without skipping a beat,” Phil stepped forward, saying, “I’ll buy all four tires for her.”

Phil’s offer left the “entire store” and Alex shocked, Rodriguez described, writing, “Alex said thank you about a hundred times.”

According to Rodriguez, after making the nearly $1,400 purchase, all Phil asked of her was that she “pay it forward.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that happen, doing something that big for a complete stranger,” Alex Wood later said of Phil’s kind act. “I was so thankful.”

Alex, who later said Phil’s unexpected act left her “speechless,” says she plans on following Phil’s advice to “pay it forward.”

“My truck’s been sliding around for weeks,” Alex explained, saying the recent rain-slicked roads had her afraid to drive the truck.

“I’ve never seen anything like that happen, doing something that big for a complete stranger,” Alex continued. “I was so thankful.”

Rodriguez’ post has since been viewed and shared more than 5,000 times and received more than 600 comments, with area residents praising Phil’s selfless decision to help someone he had never met.

After reading Rodriguez’ post, area resident April Ziegler wrote, “Oh my gosh I could cry. People are still looking out for each other!!!”

“Thank you Phil,” Nicole Dacus wrote, saying the man’s actions helped restore her “faith in humanity.”


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“Thank you Phil for being a good and kind-hearted man,” Rose Nash commented, saying it was “wonderful to see such random acts of kindness happening here in Hemet.”

“Karma works both ways,” Nash continued. “I bet you will have some good coming your way.”

As for Phil, a person who witnessed the incident but requested to not be identified, later said the “kind-hearted” man was at the tire store to get two sensors replaced. As it turned out he needed four. But the manager of the business was so touched by the good Samaritan’s kindness he gave him the additional sensors at no cost.

“There is so much good that goes on in this world,” George Paredes later commented. “But society tends to focus on the bad.

“There are so many unsung heroes like Mr. Phil that go unnoticed because of the bad, but bad makes for good media and television,” Paredes continued; while challenging everyone to pay it forward or “find something small to do to help someone else.”

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.