Many members of the homeless population are victims of circumstance. There are a variety of reasons someone can end up on the street.
By and large, members of the homeless population are just trying to get by and better their situation. But with the deck stacked against them, they struggle to get back on their feet.
Call it karma, luck, wherewithal, or whatever else, but San Francisco resident Matthew Hay-Chapman was Johnny-on-the-spot.
In March of 2016, the news-loving homeless man put an end to an 8-day jailbreak in California by fugitives Hossein Nayeri, Bac Duong, and Jonathan Tieu.
In San Francisco, homeless man Matthew Hay-Chapman noticed an escaped felon at a McDonald’s restaurant.
Hay-Chapman said he likes to read the newspaper to stay up to date on the goings on in the world. He’d just finished reading about the escaped convicts and the white van they were fleeing in.
As Hay-Chapman was reading the front page of a newspaper locked behind a coin-operated newsstand, he looked up and saw the van parked in front of him.
“I noticed the windows were all steamed up — real heavy condensation,” he told reporters from Inside Edition. “Then, boom, this guy pops out of the van. I had seen him in the news…I said, ‘That’s the guy — that’s the Iranian escapee!'”
Hay-Chapman quickly flagged down a police officer, and after a brief pursuit on foot, Nayeri and Tieu were back behind bars. Duong had already turned himself in to police.
Their entire jailbreak was recorded on a cell phone and turned into a short film by the escapees themselves.
Because Hay-Chapman helped lead to the arrest of the fleeing felons, he was entitled to an award.
The total value of the reward was $150,000. Hay-Chapman received the lions share, $100,000, with three others receiving smaller portions.
Chapman said he would be using the money to get his life back together, and to help his family. He, along with the other members of his family were struggling, and the influx of cash couldn’t have come at a better time.
In a blog run by Andrew Noske, Hay-Chapman detailed the extent of his familial troubles. In addition to his homelessness, his son was struggling with drug addiction, and his grandkids were in foster care.
Hay-Chapman’s daughter, who is in her 30s and has cerebral palsy, was living in a state home.
The reward money has done more good for Matthew Hay-Chapman than anyone could have imagined.
Hay-Chapman has been mum on exactly where the reward money was spent, but it appears to have done his family a world of good.
His son is sober, his grandkids are out of foster care, and he now works as a part-time handyman.
“I myself am working part-time as a handyman and very involved as a “GRAMPA” to my very beautiful reunited & restored family,” he wrote in an email that was later posted to the blog.
As for the fugitives that escaped prison, Hossein “Adam” Nayeri, Bac Duong, and Jonathan Tieu, are currently awaiting trial for their prison break. Nayeri was found guilty for the charges which originally landed him in jail.