LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — An 18-year-old Las Cruces man who was hailed as a hero for helping thwart a 2020 attempted kidnapping and assault has died in a motorcycle crash, police said.
Canaan Bower was killed Wednesday when his motorcycle collided with a car making a turn, police said Thursday in a statement.
Bower was a 16-year-old high school wrestler when he body-slammed a man who allegedly punched a woman at a bus stop and demanded she turn over her three children to him.
Bower intervened and held the man for sheriff’s deputies.
The March 25, 2020 incident drew national attention, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.
Bower was selected as the USA Wrestling Athlete of the week, in recognition of his bravery, and the New Mexico State Senate proclaimed him as a hero.
Bower was recognized by Doña Ana County with a proclamation, honoring his courage, bravery and heroism, and naming that day as the Canaan Bower day of Valor.
His mother, Kara Garrett Bower, said on social media that the family was overwhelmed with sadness.
“Canaan lived life to the fullest, and loved with his whole heart. He will be forever missed,” she said.