A local mother and cancer survivor who's back on her feet now needs help to get back on the street. Jeanna "Gina" Ferguson, a working mother of four, lost her independence when Sheriff's deputies say a convicted felon stole her car. Even though she got it back, it's unfit to drive.
"It was the first time I was able to take my kids' pictures all together. So I was really excited," said Ferguson.
Three weeks ago, Jeanna Ferguson went to Walmart on Panama Lane to pick up her Christmas photos. When she walked outside a half hour later, "I went right to the aisle where I parked my car and it was gone," said Ferguson.
The single mother of four didn't know if she would ever see her 1994 Honda Accord again. Sheriff's deputies say 21-year-old Adolofo Rivera Junior, a convicted felon, stole Ferguson's car.
"He made this car his car. He was driving it around with the intent of keeping it," said Ferguson's cousin Megan Pittman.
On Thursday night, Senior Deputy Robert Reed ran the car's plates that came back stolen. Rivera led deputy Reed on a chase, lost control, and spun out. As the cars were facing each other, Deputy Reed stepped out of his car and then he says Rivera rammed his car. Reed fired one shot at Rivera and hit the windshield. The chase continued before Rivera gave up and was arrested.
"I guess he hit a dirt embankment and pretty much destroyed this wheel. As you can see, there's still parts of the tire on it. He didn't have any idea who he was taking from. I mean, he was taking from somebody who couldn't replace what he was taking," said Ferguson.
"Insurance will not replace the car and still I have not heard her complain. I know most people in that position would not be so positive. You'd be wallowing in self-pity," said Pittman.
How does she stays positive? Five years ago, she fought a much bigger battle.
"I was diagnosed with bone cancer. I almost died," said Ferguson. "Somehow I mustered the courage to fight for my life. It doesn't matter what happens to you in life as long as you keep moving forward. So that's what I keep doing."
Ferguson hopes a Good Samaritan might be able to get her back on the road again.
If you'd like to help, call Megan Pittman at 661-496-5883 or go to https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/5PFY3
Meanwhile, the man accused of stealing Ferguson's car, is due in court Monday. Adolofo Rivera, 21, faces three felony charges, including attempted murder and evading a police officer. According to court documents, in 2010, Rivera had nine criminal cases within a ten month period. Two of those charges were for stealing a car, but were later dismissed.