Empowerment Center Heroes Save the Day!
September 25, 2012
Turning Point Empowerment Center clients Curtis Mitchell,
Joseph Baretta, Kenneth Falls and Mandel Haynes, wrestled a convicted sex
offender to the ground as he assaulted a 15-year-old girl on a crowded Modesto
Area Express bus.
This is now a national story, and will now forever be part
of Turning Point Community Programs' lore, showing that even with physical
impairments, our mental health consumers were not afraid to step up and do the
right thing. Currently living in a Modesto shelter,they were honored on
October 9that a School Board meeting for their bravery. Their deeds
help battle the stigma often surrounding both homelessness and mental illness.
Fred Cavanah, City of Modesto Transit Manager, wrote a
letter of thanks to them for "the courage you displayed last week aboard
the Modesto Area Express Bus. Your willingness to come to the aid of another
passenger was indeed commendable." Free monthly bus passes for the rest of
September and October were given to them as well.
Turning Point CEO John Buck said, “We couldn’t be more
proud of these gentlemen. Their instincts to protect this young woman gave them
the courage to do the right thing and take that guy down. We’re so grateful for
the chance to work with folks like these.”
Here are just a few of the links to the story: