Chesapeake woman helps elderly man found wandering

Posted at 5:22 PM, Jul 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-18 21:11:25-04

A Chesapeake woman took action on Thursday after spotting an 80-year-old man wandering around near her neighborhood dazed and confused.

Samantha Bunch found Harris Cooper walking along Battlefield Boulevard.

"He was taking tiny little baby steps," she said.

Thinking of her own grandmother who suffered from dementia, Samantha says she couldn't bear not taking action to help.

"He looked lost and I had a grandma too and she didn't know who she was either," she says.

Samantha jumped out of the truck to walk beside him and keep him out of traffic's way while she called police. But she had no information to give, as she couldn't understand what Cooper was trying to say.

According to police, Cooper suffered a stroke and couldn't talk.

"He just grunted a little bit and tried to say the number two and hold up the number two," Samantha says.

Police told Samantha to take Cooper to a nursing home not far from where he was found to see if that was where he lived. She also met up with police there and turned Cooper over to them.

"I got the officer's name so I would know who I was releasing him to and he went from there and they were supposed to follow up," she says.

Samantha got the phone call on Friday that Cooper was safely returned home, which was just around the corner from where he was found.

NewsChannel 3 caught up with Cooper's wife, Alice on Friday afternoon, who says her husband is known to just wander off.

"When he gets upset, he can't talk. He gets upset, his only way to express that he is upset is to do something like that, to run away like a child would run away," Alice says.

And that number two he kept flashing to Samantha was his way to communicate. Two means yes and one means no. It's a language only his wife can understand, and that's why she's grateful that Samantha and her friend took action.

"We just got some good Samaritans around. I've always been thankful," she says.