Woman Recognized as Good Samaritan Last Year Arrested

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STOCKTON -- Car dealer Phil Waterford's heart is broken over the brokenness of the car he gifted to support someone he truly believed in a year ago.

As far as the brokenness of the woman he gave it to as a reward?

"Our team, we're praying for her and want to encourage her to do the right thing," he said.

The shattered windows and junked interior of the Ford Focus he was happy to part with depict just a little bit of how much the person he supported -- Starla Beltran -- has lost her way.

Wednesday, a bedraggled Beltran was removed from Saint Mary's Dining Room in Stockton.

She was taken away in a straight jacket, arrested for allegedly punching a homeless services employee in the face and then kicking the officers who came to investigate.

Beltran looked very different almost a year ago.

She as all smiles then, being honored with plaques and a car for returning a lost wallet filled with $4,000 to its rightful owner -- even though she and her young son were down on their luck, losing their apartment.

"She took a city bus from Stockton to Manteca and went to this person's house. It was four doors down from the foster home she grew up in," said Waterford.

He was motivated to give her a brand new Ford Focus because of the honesty he'd heard about in the news and because the needy mother showed up at his annual Christmas breakfast for the homeless.

"She was one of the volunteers...and I just couldn't believe she was here. I wanted to share her amazing story and reward her," he said.

Now that reward bears the scars of Beltran's year -- becoming the place where she lived and did drugs.

Child Protective Services took custody of her child.

She came to visit Waterford a few weeks ago, acknowledging she was in trouble.

"She wasn't in her right mind. We encouraged her to get some help."

But Waterford's brand of help isn't just words.

He put Beltran in contact with advocates whose aid he'd hoped she would accept.

He also promised to store her car and restore it to new condition if she put in the work to return to the good example she used to be.

Nothing's changed even though she's out on bail after her arrest.

Waterford knows a lot of people wouldn't have the heart to still be trying to help given where their help had landed so far, but after a long pause he tried to offer an explanation.

"Everybody make mistakes, and I just believe that people deserve a second chance," he said.

"People go through stuff but we're not supposed to turn our backs on people. We're not disposable."