Here's some actual good news.
You'll recall the story of 55-year-old Matthew Hay-Chapman, a down-on-his-luck but nonetheless observant semi-homeless guy in the Upper Haight who, back in late January, spotted one of three recently escaped convicts from an Orange County prison at the McDonald's on Stanyan Street. Well, there was a $150,000 reward for information leading to their capture, and now Hay-Chapman will be getting $100,000 of that, as KRON 4 is reporting.
On January 28, Hay-Chapman first recognized a suspicious GMC van parked in the Whole Foods parking lot at Haight and Stanyan with its windows steamed up, indicating it had people sleeping in it. He noticed a man get out who looked a lot like one of the escaped cons, the very violent Hossein Nayeri, and followed him across the street to McDonald's where he got in line for coffee.
Hay-Chapman then alerted police, who chased Nayeri all the way to Park Station, where he unwittingly ran to escape capture. Another escapee, Jonathan Tieu, was found in the van, and the third, Bac Duong, had surrendered in Orange County the day before.
The Chronicle published a brief profile of Hay-Chapman in the following days, explaining how he was not, like some homeless in the neighborhood, addicted to drugs or especially mentally ill, but was apparently depressed and out of work due to a back injury. As of January, he'd recently found a friend's couch to sleep on, and often spent his mornings reading the daily newspaper front to back at the McDonald's. This was how he was able to recognize Nayeri from his mugshot.
Hay-Chapman will be sharing the reward with three other people, as ABC 7 reports: Target employees Hazel Javier and Jeffrey Arana, who called police in Rosemead after spotting Jonathan Tieu prior to the trio's theft of the GMC van; and Armando Damien, the owner of the stolen van, Armando Damien, who gave police details about the vehicle. Damien will get $20,000 and Javier and Arana will split the remaining $30,000.
Here's hoping this helps Hay-Chapman gets back on his feet though lord knows it won't go that far in the local rental market.