Man Rescues Victim From Burning Car–After He Sets up His Camera

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
May 17, 2016 Updated: May 17, 2016

A mattress store manager in California rescued a motorist trapped in a burning upside-down vehicle—but before he did this brave act, he put his phone in position to record the incident.

Santiago Portillo is being hailed a hero, but some people on social media reacted to his stopping to set up a recording of the event. 

“That brave citizen is a moron,” wrote a YouTube user. 

According to police, the crash wreck was a suspected result of street racing, which took place in front of a mattress store in Indiana Avenue, Los Angeles on May 11 at around 9:45 a.m. 

The vehicle had crashed, flipped onto its roof, and then burst into flames, local media reported. 

Portillo saw the crash, and the first thing he did was set his phone down to record it all. He said once he realized a man was trapped inside, he placed his phone down on the ground, and came to the man’s rescue.

“Oh [expletive], bro,” Portillo says as he pulls a man covered in blood out of the car. “It was insane,” Portillo told CBS Los Angeles.

Portillo then asks bystanders to call 911. Not long after, someone comes with a fire extinguisher to try to extinguish the flames. Portillo and another bystander then carry the bloodied motorist away from the car.

The motorist sits on the ground as Portillo returns to grab his phone to record him. He seems very confused. Portillo tells him to stay put as he checks to see if there are people in the burning vehicle.

“I had to save him. I saw the big explosion and fire. I was not going to see human get burned,” Portillo told CBS.

However, although the victim’s family was grateful that Portillo saved the man’s life, people on social media weren’t as impressed. 

“Call 911 because my phone is recording this,” a YouTube user wrote. 

“It’s nice that he saved the guy and all, but seriously… ‘Hold up dying dude, I need to record this so the whole country will call me a hero!'” someone wrote on Facebook. 

Conversely, some people on social media noted that Portillo could have been covering the event as possible legal evidence: “He just need an evidence, if ever he gets sued or something.” 

Despite the backlash Portillo is facing on social media, he is just happy that the motorist is alive. 

“He’s alive. He’s alive. We’re happy he’s alive. I know he that he may not be alive if I wasn’t there,” Portillo said.

The driver, who remains unnamed, is expected to recover.