Good Samaritans, police officer help lost elderly couple

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An couple from California in their 80s was stranded after losing their keys

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An elderly couple has returned home safely to California after getting lost in Portland for days all thanks to Good Samaritans and a Portland police officer.

Elizabeth Haas noticed an elderly couple on a bench as she drove by, realizing it was the same couple she’d seen on her street nearly 12 hours before.

Elizabeth Haas points to the spot at NE 43rd and Sandy where she spotted a lost, elderly couple from California and decided to help, August 20, 2019 (KOIN)

“When we were driving back home from brunch we saw [the woman] standing by herself by the flower pot and we wondered where [the man] was,” said Haas. “But at that point, we didn’t even know who they were.”

Seeing them again, she became worried. She jumped out of her car to help — and learned they’d been locked out of their car overnight.

Another Good Samaritan, Grady Storms, stepped in to help reunite the couple as well.

The married couple had accidentally separated from each other while looking for their rental car — and ended up blocks apart.

Tired, hungry and confused, this couple in their 80s, named Brad and Golida, had taken a train from the Bay Area to Portland for his 65th year Grant High School reunion.

They lost the keys to their rental car somewhere along the way.

Elizabeth Haas spotted a lost, elderly couple from California in Northeast Portland and decided to help, August 20, 2019 (KOIN)

“It almost took 3 hours trying to piece it together,” Haas said. “I knew we were in a time crunch because he was here for this reunion.”

Haas and Storms decided to call for Portland police.

Officer Brandyn Brittingham responded, listened and cared.

“I was moved by him because he allowed those people to have their dignity,” Storms said. “That’s what’s important.”

Officer Brittingham took it upon himself to drive the couple to the high school reunion, set them up in a hotel, and connect them with their family to get them home safely.

“That’s a big part of police work,” said Brittingham. “It’s not all arresting people — a lot of it is community engagement and helping people find their way.”

Officer Brandyn Brittingham assisted a lost elderly couple. Aug. 20, 2019 (KOIB)

Officer Brittingham said this was all in a days work for him — but above and beyond by these people of Portland.

“They did so much more than anyone would be asked to do. They did it all voluntarily, out of the kindness of their hearts,” Brittingham told KOIN 6 News. “This is a really great example of community working together, and it’s really inspiring.”

Haas said these are the moments she lives for.

“As Portland grows and gets bigger — I don’t want to lose that essence of what a community is,” she said.

She said a community is all about people taking care of each other and looking out for one another — making sure that we’re all OK.

PHOTO: left to right: Grady Storms (Good Samaritan) Ofc. Brittingham (PPB ) Elizabeth Haas (Good Samaritan) The elderly couple: Brad Canutt & Goldia Canutt on Aug. 20, 2019. (KOIN)
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