Lodi Member Scares Off Attacker, Saves Woman’s Life

If you asked Shawn Tallerico why he does his job for Lodi’s public works department or why he stepped up to be a leader in our union, his answer would be simple and honest.

“The reason I do it is because I care,” he said.

The fact that Tallerico cares so much about his community is the reason a woman is alive today, after he saved her from being badly beaten while he was making a routine equipment dropoff for an on-the-job training that day. Now, his fellow AFSCME Local 146 members are recognizing Tallerico as a local hero and another example of how our union never quits on the communities we serve.

“Whenever someone’s in need of help and you can do something about it, you should help. And that’s what he did,” said Mike Pacheco, a wastewater maintenance worker in Lodi and Local 146 member. “It makes me proud to be his coworker.”

It was an early morning on a regular workday in January, and Tallerico, an inventory control worker, was on his way from the public works corporation yard to a training in an industrial part of town to drop off some safety supplies.

When he arrived at the training, a coworker asked him if he had any more safety glasses back at his office. They needed more for the training.

So Tallerico drove back to his office in his work truck, picked up more safety glasses and made his way back to the training.

As he was driving down the road, something didn’t look right, he said.

As cars approached one part of the street, several of them began to swerve around like they were trying to avoid some debris.

It turns out there were two people in a fight in the middle of the road.

“At first, I thought it was two guys fighting,” he said. “But it turned out to be a guy who was on top of this woman, and he was beating her up really bad and threatening to kill her.”

Right then, he said, he made a decision to do something to try to stop the attack.

He turned on the hazard lights in his work truck, he said, and he laid on the horn until the man who was violently attacking the woman got off of her. He then called 911.

But Tallerico didn’t stop there.

The man made a run for it after the attack, so Tallerico followed him down the street in his work truck until the police caught up with him and apprehended the man.

Looking back, Tallerico said he keeps thinking about what would have happened if he never got that call to go back to his office and pick up the extra safety glasses.

“That girl definitely would have been severely beaten,” he said.

When asked if he would ever stop what he was doing during work and help someone who was in danger again, Tallerico didn’t hesitate to answer.

“I’m no hero,” he said. “But if there’s anything I would want someone to learn from this, it’s that it’s never wrong to do the right thing.”