According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.1 million people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2015. In that same year, over 10,000 people died in alcohol related driving accidents.
But the statistics, while tragic, were not in Alejandro Fernando Favreau’s mind when he saw a white Mustang driving erratically. Instead, what motivated him to interrupt a family vacation was his own tragic losses, and his commitment never to let that ever happen to anyone else again.
Favreau was showing his family around his neighborhood in Houston when he caught sight of car swerving all over the road.
Last week, Favreau’s family was visiting him from Venezuela and he thought that he would show them around the area where he lived in Houston, Texas. But as they were driving down a road Favreau had known well when they saw something that made Favreau’s heart sink.
It was a white Mustang; the front had been crushed, and the driver was all over the road. Favreau knew from the moment he saw the vehicle that the driver was under the influence of something.
Confronted by this deadly driver, Favreau refused to allow him to stay on the road.
Favreau had lost two of his good friends to drunk driving. The first suffered a fatal accident while driving, and the other was hit by a drunk driver. For Favreau, the very idea that someone could die on his watch was unbearable.
“We turned around and followed him,” Favreau wrote in the description of a YouTube video documenting the incident.
Favreau called the police when the Mustang pulled into a restaurant parking lot. But the car appeared back on the road again moments later.
They kept their distance, worried that the drunk driver would stop short, or crash into them. But finally, the Mustang pulled into a restaurant parking lot. Favreau then called the police and spoke to the restaurant manager hoping that he would keep the drunk driver off the road. The manager agreed, and Favreau resumed his vacation.
But it did not take long before the Mustang swerved back onto the road, and in front of Favreau’s car.
Favreau knew from that moment on that he needed to finish this, and as he began following the drunk driver a second time, his brother-in-law started recording the encounter.
After a tense chase that lasted a few minutes, the man pulled into a parking lot. Favreau and his family tried to tell security to stop the driver, but they were slow to act.
“At that point, I only thought of doing something before someone got hurt,” Favreau wrote in the description of a YouTube video documenting the incident.
So, Favreau acted on his own.
Favreau needed to act fast if lives were going to be saved. He pulled the man out of the car, and performed a citizen’s arrest.
The man had backed into truck, and was stopped for a moment. That was Favreau’s chance. He, and another family member, jumped out of their car, and started banging on the Mustang’s driver-side window. The man inside rolled it down to confront Favreau.
“I went in, put the car in park, and opened the door,” Favreau wrote in the description of a YouTube video documenting the incident. “I saw him trying to put the car in gear, so I pulled him out.”
There were many families with children in the parking lot. If the drunk driver got away, not only could he he could potentially hurt or kill Favreau, but also those families.
Holding fast onto the man’s wrists, he called the police. He never once let go until the police arrived, and took the drunk driver into custody where he was placed under arrest and charged with his 3rd DWI.
There is no question that Favreau saved lives that day. The man was so clearly under the influence of some kind of substance and his car had already suffered such massive damage that it was only a matter of time before he would have hurt someone.
Favreau and his family are heroes, and we are glad he decided to act before it was too late.