Local parents looking for 'hero' who saved son's wheelchair

Posted at 7:36 PM, Jan 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-19 22:36:32-05

EL CAJON - A Spring Valley family is hoping to track down the Good Samaritan who recovered their toddler’s wheelchair.

10News was there as Brooks, 2, got back in his favorite seat.

“You can see he's excited,” Jennifer Espinosa, Brooks’ mother, said.

The excitement is shared by his parents.

“Very happy. Very emotional day for us,” Espinosa, choking back tears, said.

About 24 hours ago on Wednesday afternoon, Brook’s father took his son, diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, to therapy at a facility on Madison Avenue in El Cajon.

As usual, Brooks was in his custom wheelchair, his favorite place to sit.

“He's just calm. His hands are relaxed. His arms are forward. He loves his chair,” Espinosa said.

When the therapy was done, it was time to go.    

Brooks’s dad Jorge loaded his son into the car seat, got into the van, drove a few blocks, then realized he had left the wheelchair on the sidewalk, and drove back.

“It was such an empty feeling.  The chair wasn't there,” he said.

Brooks' family posted details on Facebook sites like the East County Emergency Updates page. It was shared and re-shared.  

Then this morning, the family got a call.

A man named Carl had dropped off the wheelchair at a nearby school.                                  

“This is our very precious kid.  We're over the moon to have it back,” Espinosa said.

She said she talked to Carl, who saw a homeless man with the wheelchair nearby.

“He said that he saw a man putting it on a cart that had cans it it, and told the man that wheelchair didn’t look like his. Carl then took it from him. I thanked him, but I was so excited I didn't have time to tell him how much it meant to us,” Espinosa said.

Now Espinosa is hoping to track down the mystery man to say thank you again.

“He stood up, took a stand, and brought it here. What Carl did was show there are wonderful people who care,” Espinosa said.

The wheelchair cost more than $6,500.

If you know who "Carl" is, email 10News at