Jun 06, 2023

Ron Nessman, who saved baby in stroller in California in viral video, lands job at Applebee's

Ron Nessman was sitting on a bench reflecting on his job interview at a nearby Applebee's when he noticed a stroller racing toward a busy road.

The buggy with a baby boy inside had been blown by strong winds downhill from a nearby parked car in a hand-wash parking lot—and the child's great- aunt was on the ground beside the vehicle after having fallen and hurt herself.

Nessman raced across the lot, grabbing the stroller with his right hand moments before it reached six lanes of busy traffic.

A clip of the May 1 incident recorded from the car wash on Bear Valley Road in Hesperia, Calif., has gone viral and been viewed millions of times across news channels and social media platforms.

And now, not only has Nessman been branded a "hero" for his actions, but the man who was previously homeless has also landed a job after searching for months.

Speaking to CBS, Nessman said he was "grateful" to have been in the right place at the right time to save the baby from being hurt—or worse.

"I didn't even have time to think about it," said Nessman. "You just react. I felt so bad for the lady—I couldn't imagine. I’ve got nephews and nieces and couldn't imagine something like that."

In an interview a few days later with NBC4, Nessman said he was glad he "got the jump" on the stroller because it was moving so quickly toward traffic with a speed limit of 40 miles per hour.

He said "never in a million years" did he think the story would be shared so widely, adding that he was still "beside himself" after being told 66 million people had seen the video.

The clip finishes by showing Nessman pushing the child back toward his guardian—a woman in her sixties—who had been helped up by another passerby.

Nessman and his family have said they hope the incident can be a learning moment for parents and guardians, reminding them to always check the brakes on strollers before taking their hands away.

After his girlfriend died suddenly in 2018, Nessman said, he didn't want anyone to feel the same pain he had gone through.

"I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did nothing," said the former truck driver, who only recently moved back to the area. "I’m just glad I realized it and was on it."

In a later interview Nessman revealed his interview at Applebee's was successful—he's been given the job as a dishwasher, with managers insisting it had nothing to do with his actions on May 1.

Nessman had been searching for jobs for months, he said: "I’ll be honest, when you get on the computer every day and put in application after application or you come to do an interview and you walk away like ‘Maybe you didn't get the job,’ it does bring you down, but I know as long as I just stay good and do what I’m doing then things will come."

Nessman got a call back from Applebee's offering him the job last Thursday, and he has since been in for training. "I appreciate the opportunity that Applebee's has given me," he said.

"It's a good job, it's fast-paced," he said. "It keeps me busy and that's what I was looking for. I gotta come to work tomorrow and I can hardly wait to start doing what I do. It's going to be a good feeling."

The general manager of the branch, Emily Canady, said the decision had nothing to do with Nessman's newfound fame.

"He's a great guy and was a great candidate," Canady said. "He’ll definitely fit with us here at team Victorville at Applebee's."