Turns Out The Street Sweeper Operator From My Instagram Is A Real-Life Superhero

Every Thursday, I make a video detailing the insanity of New York City’s alternate side parking. Given the astronomical price of parking garages in New York, a number of New Yorkers have discovered that if you’re willing to sit in your car from 9-10:30AM on Thursdays (or Fridays on some streets), you can move your car out of the way while the street sweeper passes—avoiding a ticket and parking for free for the week. Once he’s gone, you’re safe until the next Thursday at 9AM. It’s glorious, but it’s extremely stressful. As you’ll see if you watch the videos.

I’ve done this series for the past month or so, and I’ve taken a liking to the guy who drives the street sweeper. I didn’t know anything about him beyond that I love him. Whenever he passes my car, I cheer and he gives me a thumbs up or a wave and a big smile. I was one of those children who worshipped garbagemen and construction workers and would get off to getting a wave from them. I guess it’s still in me. Also, something about his face just sits well with me. It’s a kind face, filled with good humor, reassurance, patience… all the features one needs to be a successful street sweeper operator in the busiest, grumpiest city on earth.

Today I learned that I was right to love him as quickly and as deeply as I did. Turns out, he’s a real life superhero:

ABC News– 

A 56-year-old woman from Englewood was leaving the mall on the third level of the south parking deck. As she got to her vehicle a man approached her and demanded money. When she said she did not have any money, the suspect attempted to grab her purse. She resisted until he grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground.

She started screaming, and a good Samaritan named Pedro Solla, 48, from New York City heard the victim’s screams and pursued the suspect in his vehicle as he tried to run away.

As Solla turned the corner, the suspect jumped into a green Ford Explorer along with a female passenger. Solla got out of his vehicle and attempted to stop the suspect from driving away.

When he recognized that he was unable to do this, Solla punctured the rear tire of the vehicle with a knife.

Hand up: I had no idea I was waving to Jack Bauer every Thursday. Never once did I suspect that John McClane and John Wick had a son, and he’s cleaning up the streets of New York City by day, cleaning up the Garden State Plaza Mall streets by night. World, let’s give a spontaneous round of applause for my main man, Pedro “Pete” Solla! What a HERO.

Do I find it strange that Pete carries a knife around just in case he needs to puncture the car tires of getaway cars? Not for a second. In fact, that’s exactly the weapon I would picture him carrying. I bet it’s a multi-purpose tool, something super manly and versatile that can fix all sorts of problems. That’s the product Pete carries, if I had to bet. Perfect gift for the Pete in your life this Christmas.

Now, you may be thinking “one heroic act does not a hero make.” To that I say, find some happiness in your life, ass. You sound like fun at the parties you’re surely not attending. Believe in something. It’s Christmas season. More importantly, it turns out the tire-slashing, purse-restoring thrill ride wasn’t Pete’s first act of heroism:

Solla is a city sanitation worker and it’s not his first heroic act. In November 2004, he and his colleague noticed a house on fire. They ran into the house and saved the residents.

Running into burning buildings too?!?! The guy simply CANNOT STOP SAVING THE WORLD. It’s in his DNA! Someone get this man a cape! Erect a statue to him at city hall!!

We salute you, Pete. Thank you for all that you do. See you next Thursday.