A homeless man in Garden Grove was recognized as a hero Wednesday for helping police locate a missing teen who is autistic, after he disappeared from a shopping plaza.
Charles Truong, 17, wandered away while shopping with his mother on Tuesday afternoon at the Binh Supermarket.
After he was reported missing, Garden Grove police officer David Chang began searching the neighborhood with a picture of Truong looking for anyone who might have seen the teenager.
Chang, showed Truong’s picture to Ian Hinton, a 37-year-old transient well-known by the officer.
Several hours later, Hinton spotted Truong near a Garden Grove intersection, where the boy appeared to be in distress, waving his hands wildly in the air.
Hinton immediately recognized the boy’s face and began asking strangers to call for help.
Officer Chang said the first two people Hinton asked ignored him, but a third woman listened to him and contacted police.
The teenager was reunited with his grateful mother after a frantic five-hour search.
Hinton claims he’s not a hero. He said he was just doing what anyone with a giving spirit would do.
Both Hinton and the woman who called 911 will be honored at a special dinner with the Garden Grove Police Chief at an upcoming ceremony.