Teen hero from Rio Rancho saves man lying in street, bloody and unconscious

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of people wouldn’t know what to do if they found someone bloody and unconscious on the pavement, but a 17-year-old Rio Rancho boy did, and Wednesday night he will be honored for it.

The 17-year-old, Justin Martinez, found a man in his 50’s covered in blood, lying face down in the middle of a Rio Rancho street and called 911.

“He’s bleeding a lot,” said Martinez in the 911 call.

Martinez sprang into action.

“When I found him, he was face down on the street, still laying down. By looking at the blood, he had been there for 5 to 10 minutes, knocked out,” said Martinez.

The teenager had just left home and was riding his sister’s bike to his first day of work at the McDermott Athletic Center.

“I had to use my own shirt, I took it off to put pressure on his head, first off, because he was bleeding from his head so bad,” said Martinez.

The man he was helping had just left the Circle K along Highway 528 on foot. Justin had just completed first aid training the week before.

“It did help because other than that, I don’t know what else I would have done,” said Martinez.

The man’s parents said they don’t know what would have happened to their son if Justin had not found him on their street.

“With that low sugar, possibly he could have died,” said Dan Riggs, the injured man’s father.

He said they remain amazed by Martinez’s actions.

“Frankly I was rather astonished, you know because you don’t think of young folks, ordinarily stopping to provide aid,” said Riggs.

Shortly after, the community rallied behind Justin, giving him a bike of his own as a thank you. Yet, no matter how much attention he gets, Martinez remains humble.

“It just happened fast, and I just did what I did,” said Martinez.

Martinez will be honored Wednesday night by the mayor at Rio Rancho’s city council meeting.

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