There are no shortage of examples of how the L.A. riots brought out the worst in people. But Bobby Green's actions on the first day of the unrest, showed that they could also bring out the best.
Green, then a 29-year-old part-time trucker, watched the events slowly unfold on his living room television set in South Central L.A. About a half mile from his home, trucker Reginald Denny was set upon by an enraged mob, dragged out of his truck, beaten, kicked and finally bashed in the head with a cinderblock.
Green had seen enough. He raced down to the scene and when he got there, he met up with three other good samaritans, Lei Yuille, Titus Murphy, and Terri Barnett. None of the four had any connection to Denny or to those assaulting him. They just knew he needed help.
Green helped Yulle push Denny (who managed to get on his feet after the attack) back into the cab of the truck, all the while avoiding being attacked themselves. Then Green grabbed the rig's steering wheel, but the windshield was shattered. So he listened to Murphy and Barnett's instructions as they led him in their car to the nearest hospital. "Something told me to get up," Green, said in a 2002 interview with the Los Angeles Times. "I just pushed him over and started driving."
After the riots Denny's employer, Transit Mixed Concrete (now renamed Cemex), gave Green a job as a full time trucker and he moved out of Los Angeles to suburban Rialto, where he still resides.
He reportedly last saw Denny at a picnic given by the company in 1993. But a connection remained. "I think about the bond every day," he told the Times. "I want to keep our names alive."
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