After months of recovery, Gulfport Police Department Officer Luis Garcia is back on the force.
Garcia was injured in the line of duty back in January when he put himself in harm’s way to protect drivers on the road when a stolen van was speeding through an intersection. Garcia stopped his police car in the middle of the intersection at Creosote Road and Three Rivers Road, and the driver of the stolen van crashed into the car. Garcia was injured and taken to a local hospital.
The Gulfport PD posted the following photo on their Facebook page welcoming Officer Garcia back on a limited basis as he awaits clearance to return to the streets.
After the January incident, Courtney Brown posted the following message on Facebook thanking Officer Garcia for his heroic actions, as she was near the intersection with her baby in the car.
“So tonight, a Gulfport police officer saved my daughters and boyfriends life as well as many others, the light was green, and he sat in the middle of the road as a big van came running through a red light, from a car chase. The van was going at least 75, or 80 miles per hour, as Garcia just sat there waiting for the van to run through the red light. We were going to drive through the green light, after Garcia drove through the light, but if it wasn’t for Officer Garcia jumping in the way and blocking the intersection, my daughter and boyfriend would have been the ones to get hit and possibly die. I am beyond thankful that Officer Luis Garcia of Gulfport Police Department, saved our lives. I hope he’s okay. They took him to Memorial hospital but he’s truly a hero.”
Brown reflected further on the crash and remembered what it was like as she waited for a sign of life from Garcia.
“I was just sitting there hoping and praying that he was going to survive because as hard as he was hit, I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Brown recalled. “I’m extremely thankful for him. He’s a hero. He saved my daughter and my boyfriend’s lives, and it’s something that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever witnessed.”
Chief Leonard Papania held a press conference after the incident and said while there was a challenging road ahead, Garcia’s future looked promising, and with Garcia set to return to the force, the future is bright indeed.
The man in the stolen van was arrested after the crash and was identified by police as 18-year-old Eli Daniel Bosworth. He was charged with one count of Motor Vehicle Theft and one count of Felony Fleeing and Eluding.