Watch CBS News

Good Samaritan Hailed As Hero For Saving 9-Year-Old Girl Involved In Modesto Carjacking

MODESTO (CBS13) — Rod Olsen, a father of three, returned to the scene of a Modesto parking lot where he said a carjacking involving a child almost ended badly.

He was still emotional as he shared the story.

"In this five-six seconds, I'm thinking I go from DUI, medical emergency to a kid driving a car," Olsen said.

Thursday night, a Door Dash driver picked up food at Garcia Jo Jo's on McHenry Avenue. The driver left the car running and a thief took advantage by taking the car for a joyride not realizing a young girl, 9, was still in the back seat.

Olsen saw the car rolling out of control down the busy street.

"I saw a car slowly coming towards me as I was making a left hand turn into the parking lot," Olsen said. "There was like four or five cars parked here on the side and it clipped the first car and proceeded down here and clipped another car before coming to a rest."

Olsen had no idea what had just happened.

"I thought they were drunk driving, so I came and took a picture of the license plate thinking they might flee," he said.

It was when he approached the car cautiously that he was surprised.

"When I get there I see no driver, I look in the back seat and there's a girl in the back seat," Olsen said.

Olsen explained to the girl that he had to reach inside the car to turn off the hazards and get her to safety.

"I said to her, 'Are you okay,' and she yells to me, 'Please don't hurt me!" he said.

It wasn't until Olsen called 911 that he pieced the story together.

"Mom's not here, carjacker jumps out of the car a block away, that's why it was rolling," he said.

Modesto police are searching for the carjacker but said the 9-year old girl was reunited with her mother.

Olsen, a father of three, was still able to share a special moment with the frightened 9-year old girl.

"I pat her on the back and tell her it's going to be okay and she just leans in and gives me a hug," Olsen said. "It was really cool."

Olsen said he was in the right place at the right time and considers himself a good samaritan, nothing else.

"Heroes are teachers and cops," Olsen said. "I'm just a guy."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.