On Christmas morning as boys and girls across Louisiana awoke bright eyed and overflowing with excitement for what Santa may have brought, one 4 year-old little girl spent Christmas Eve and part of Christmas morning in her family car, broken down on Interstate 20.

As Sgt. Paul Harris left his family safe at home to patrol our highways, he found a young family and their dog stranded along I-20 in Bienville Parish. The alternator on the Gonzales’ family vehicle had gone out as Santa was making his rounds through Louisiana, and they had no choice but spend Christmas Eve sleeping in their car far away from home. Sgt. Harris found some “car guys” that knew just what to do. Billy Powell and Shane Toney, manager and employee of O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store # 1017 in Bossier City, agreed to leave their families and drive over to the store.

So, while Dep. Steve Wilshek with the Bienville Parish Sherriff’s Office stayed with the mom and daughter, Harris brought Mr. Gonzales to the store so he could purchase a new alternator. It just so happened that Santa’s elves (disguised as #troopers) had already paid for the alternator and somehow found a new teddy bear for the little girl. Once back at the vehicle, Wilshek quickly installed the new part and now they are safely on their way home.

A special thanks to O'Reilly Auto Parts, Billy Powell, Shane Toney, Bienville Parish Sherriff’s Office and Geaux Show Love-Bear Share & Geaux Greenfor helping us spread a little Christmas cheer.

Troopers wish to remind motorists that if you are stranded call *LSP (*577) from any cellular device to be connected to the nearest troop location for assistance.

Remember…we’ve got your back too!!

Merry Christmas!