Deputies help lost and confused elderly man get home to Tucson

On November 30, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m., authorities were notified to be on the lookout for a vehicle tailgating another on Highway 70. The reporting party was in the front vehicle and said that the other vehicle was tailgating him and flashing its lights.

A Graham County Sheriff’s deputy on patrol on Highway 70 saw the two vehicles in the area of 20th Avenue and Highway 70. Once he confirmed the vehicles he got behind them and followed them to 14th Avenue. The front vehicle used its blinker and switched lanes multiple times and the vehicle behind kept following it extremely close from lane to lane and would not pass.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop of the rear vehicle but it kept following the front vehicle. The front vehicle  pulled into the Pizza Hut parking lot and the rear vehicle following it and parked next to the front vehicle. The driver of the front vehicle told the deputy that he was okay and left the scene.

The deputy made contact with the driver of the car that was tailgating and found he was an elderly man from Tucson. The man told the deputy that he was following the other vehicle because they were practicing driving. He said that they had been traveling for 12 hours and he was coming from Los Angeles. The man was confused while answering the deputy’s questions and apparently didn’t know where he was.

Other deputies arrived and continued talking to the elderly man. The man gave permission to search his vehicle and deputies found a .40 caliber handgun on the floorboard. The gun was unloaded but the deputy took it for safekeeping. The deputy also found a speed warning issued to the elderly man from the day prior in Tucson.

Medics arrived and checked the man. They found that his blood pressure was high but everything else was okay. The man said that he was on dialysis and his last treatment was several days prior. Authorities contacted the Pima County Sheriff’s Office to see if they had a silver alert for the man but no alert was found.

The man said that his wife was in an assisted living facility in Tucson. One of the deputies contacted the facility but were unable to contact any family members to let them know what was happening or make arrangements for them to come get the man.

Due to man’s mental state a deputy transported him to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center. Medical staff evaluated him and discharged him.

Another deputy took the man to get some food and transported him to the Sheriff’s Office until authorities could figure out how to get him home. Another deputy drove the man’s car to the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies made contact with the Alzheimers Association and the Pima County Sheriff Office to make plans to get the man home safe. Deputies eventually met Pima County Sheriff’s Deputies in Benson, who then took the man the rest of the way home.