Aug 04, 2020

Fresno State employee helps prevent disaster

Patro Bryant isn’t afraid to get involved, which is exactly what he did on Feb. 23 when he and two other bystanders helped prevent a possible car accident.

It was just an ordinary day, Bryant said, as he woke up to prepare for another day of work. For the past three years, Bryant has been a part-time administration assistant for the department of social work education’s Title IV-E Child Welfare Program and is hoping to win a full-time position soon.

When he was on his way home driving up to a traffic light at the intersection of Gettysburg and Willow Avenues, he said that he noticed something odd as he sat at the red light. A woman in her car was shaking and convulsing from a seizure and was beginning to drive into oncoming traffic.

Bryant reacted immediately, got out of his truck and raced to help prevent the woman from crashing into a group of parked cars. Bryant said he finally got the car to stop by breaking the car window with a pocketknife that had a special tip made for shattering windows.

“My mind was just going, you know, to just stop this car by any means necessary. Just stop it,” he said.

After shattering the glass and putting the car into park, Bryant and other bystanders assisted the woman as they called and waited for an ambulance. Bryant said he’s glad that they were able to help the woman.

“We did something good,” Bryant said.

He commends the other people involved who lent a hand in helping to save the woman.

“Nobody had to ask us to do it, we just did it,” he said.

So far, Bryant hasn’t heard from or been able to contact the woman who suffered the seizure but hopes that she is doing all right. He said he lives by the philosophy of treating others how he would want to be treated himself.

“It goes back to, if I was in that situation would anybody do it for me?” he said.

A couple months before this recent incident, Bryant was involved in preventing another dangerous situation.

On a Saturday morning, Bryant was headed to a car wash to get his truck cleaned. Soon, he noticed nearby a man on a bicycle stealing a purse from an older woman.

“Something was telling me, help this lady, help this lady; because what this guy is doing is wrong,” he said.

Bryant chased the thief down for five blocks trying to get the woman’s purse back. As they both sped through traffic, Bryant finally caught up and bumped the biker with the front of his truck, which knocked him to the ground. Bryant was able to pin the thief down, call the police and return the woman’s purse.

“He figured it was gonna be easy to snatch this lady’s purse and take off,” Bryant said. “And it wasn’t easy at all. And I made sure that it’s not gonna be easy.”

With great appreciation, the woman offered to pay Bryant for what he did, but he didn’t accept. The woman still insisted on paying him back for his good deed and paid for Bryant’s truck to be washed.

Growing up in the small town of Helena, Arkansas, Bryant said his family raised him and his siblings to always have respect for others and to always help people in need.

“If you help others, others help you,” he said.

Ever since that day, employees at the car wash who witnessed what he did, and co-workers of Bryant’s who have heard about his heroic acts, like to nickname him “Superman.” Bryant said helping others makes him feel good about himself and helps to provide a sense of purpose. He wants to continue to help people in the future and plans to enroll at Fresno State and study to become a drug counselor.

MSW Title IV-E Child Welfare Coordinator for the Department of Social Work Education, Corrine L. Florez, works alongside Bryant and describes him as a hard-working and caring employee.

“He is the kind of person who comes early, works late and consistently goes the extra mile,” Florez said. “He is just a really good person who is a team player and brings joy and humor to the day.”

Kristin Carraway, a master of public health and an administration assistant in the social work department, said she wasn’t surprised when she heard about his recent rescue.

“Patro is the type of person that if he sees someone in need, he will do whatever necessary to assist them with little thought to what harm might come his way,” Carraway said.

She said that she thinks what Bryant has done is inspiring and hopes that others will do the same as Bryant and follow him as an example.

“It gives hope to the character of human beings in our current society,” she said. “I truly believe that if more people were not afraid to go the extra mile and come to the aid of others, there would be significant improvements in the world in which we live.”

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