Good Samaritan: William Gallegos and daughter Shania Gallegos
November 22, 2013
Albuquerque- Today Mayor Richard J. Berry honored a father and daughter who took action after seeing several small children running in the street unattended. When William and Shania Gallegos took it upon themselves to aide the children who were running into traffic, they found out that there was a much more serious issue and were pivotal factors in returning the children to safety.
This past August, William Gallegos was passing an apartment complex in the Northeast Heights when he noticed three small children at the side of the road near a very busy intersection. The children were unaccompanied and were stepping on and off of the sidewalk into the roadway. Seeing the danger that these young children were in, Gallegos immediately pulled into the parking lot of the apartment, parked, and approached the children, who he estimated to all be between the ages of 1.5-3 years of age. One of the children was not wearing shoes and was screaming in pain due to the hot asphalt underfoot. When Gallegos asked the children where their parents were at, one of the children took off running; leading the other children. Gallegos followed the running child to an apartment, where he found the door ajar. As the young girl ran inside, another baby, approximately 1 year old, came out of the apartment in tears.
At this point, Gallegos called 911, and called into the apartment. Receiving no response, he knew something had to be wrong. While he was waiting for responders to arrive, Gallegos was joined on the scene by his daughter Shania, who was in the area and had seen her father’s vehicle when she passed the parking lot. Shania demonstrated that the sense of duty her father possesses is a family trait, and helped by following the young girl who had now run out of the apartment and was dashing between buildings. Gallegos and Shania kept the children under watch and safe until police arrived. When responding officers entered the apartment, they found a man passed out inside. There were no other adults at the apartment.
Gallegos is a very modest person by nature, and feels strongly that he just did what anyone would do under these circumstances. In this case, however, nobody else had done anything to intervene. Gallegos' actions, and that of his daughter’s, may well have saved the lives of all four children, and certainly demonstrate the type of characteristics that are deserving of recognition. It is because of good neighbors like the Gallegos’ that help keep Albuquerque’s streets safe. When everyone cares and looks after one another we become a closer, safeguarded community.