Danous Estenor had decided he was too hungry to wait until he got home for dinner, and as he parked his car outside the Bulls Den Cafe on USF’s campus, he heard a woman screaming for help.
Across the parking lot on that Thursday night in February, he saw a frightening scene: a tow truck driver pinned under the rear tire of a 1990 Cadillac Seville that had lurched forward as he worked underneath it, his wife struggling in vain with two men to lift the car.
Maria Uribe had been sleeping in the cab of her husband’s truck when she heard Arzola, 34 and a father of four, yelling “Ayudame!” — help me. The scene looked “like a horror movie … a lot of blood,” she said. The Cadillac’s front right tire had run over Arzola’s torso and dragged him about 10 feet.
When Estenor saw what had happened, he ran to the Cadillac and with a rush of adrenaline he lifted the car off of Arzola.
How could Estenor lift a Cadillac that weighs roughly 3,500 pounds?
The phenomenon is called hysterical strength, a burst of adrenaline that allows people to perform feats far beyond their normal physical limitations. USF’s strength and conditioning coach, Mike Golden, said Estenor can bench-press 405 pounds but few people even of his size and strength could do what he did.