For Aaron Tucker, the decision was a no-brainer. When he saw a man who needed help, he ran to help, even though doing so might cost him a shot at a better future.
His actions have struck a chord, and to understand why, we need to back up a moment and explain the roots of this viral tale.
Tucker has been living in a halfway house since he was released from a 22-month prison sentence related to a weapons charge. Since his release, the 32-year-old has had one thing on his mind: getting a job so that he can provide for his 21-month-old son, Aaron Tucker Jr.
That's why Tucker found himself on a bus one morning en route to an interview for a bus boy job at the nearby Dinosaur Bar-B-Que in Stamford, Connecticut. As he rode along, he looked up and saw a car flip over in front of the bus. He ran to the front of the bus and asked the driver if he would let him off and wait for him while he went to check on the man in the car. The driver told him that he would let Tucker off but that he wouldn't wait for him.
Tucker didn't hesitate before hopping off the bus and running to the man's aide. When he got to the car, Tucker saw that the man was bleeding from his head, so he took off his shirt — the good shirt that was given to him to wear to the job interview — and used it to stop the bleeding.
"He kept shutting his eyes, and I made sure he stayed awake," Tucker told NY Daily News. "I told him to open his eyes, I said, 'your family wants you.'"
The injured man was eventually transported by ambulance to the hospital, but by that time Tucker had missed his interview. But Tucker's story went viral almost the minute it hit the local news stations. A GoFundMe account was set up as a thank you to Tucker with a goal of raising $10,000 to help him get back his feet and support his son. As of this writing, more than $51,000 had been raised. And even though Tucker missed his initial job interview, the BBQ joint rescheduled his interview and he's had at least three job offers since his story hit the Internet.
When Tucker left his house that fateful morning, he had $1.75 in his pocket. Now he's got a cushion of cash to help support his son and the prospect of a job to set him on a path for a better future.
"I’m determined to change my life," he told Westport Now.