California woman thanks DUI arresting officer for saving her life

FONTANA, Calif. -- There are many ways to show gratitude and a big hug is surely one of them, but what's unique is what 36-year-old Mariya Fair is thanking a police officer for.

"I do this all the time and I really wasn't expecting to be thanked for arresting someone, I'll be honest about that," said Fontana police Officer Wayne Blessinger.

Just six months ago, Fair was battling severe depression and was addicted to drugs.

"I felt like they were helping me escape from the reality and feel safe and better in general," Fair said.

On New Year's Eve, Fair crashed into two other cars and was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence near Sierra and Arrow avenues in Fontana, California. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but it was that night that Fair came to grips with her addiction, particularly because of what Blessinger told her as he arrested her.

"She had needle marks up and down both of her arms and when we got her back to the jail, I couldn't believe that she was actually doing that to herself," Blessinger said.

"He said, 'You know you're so young. I don't know what's going on in your life, but you need to get yourself in order, you need to get your life in order,'" Fair recalled.

Blessinger didn't think he was getting through to her at the moment, but Fair says it was a life-changing night.

"Officer Blessinger was my blessing on New Year's Eve. It was a badly wrapped gift that I accepted," Fair said.

On Monday, she finally had the opportunity to thank the man who she says helped put her on the road to recovery.

Report a Typo
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.