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Cop Buys Gas for Struggling Elderly Widow After Seeing Her Try To Pay with $3 in Change

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If any professional group has a PR problem, it’s police officers. From accusations of racial insensitivity to claims of outright brutality, those tasked with protecting and serving often get a bad rap.

That’s not to say that any public servant is automatically innocent. The universal nature of human depravity means that you’ll find bad players in any group.

Yet most of the boys (and girls) in blue really want to help the general public, and their actions often show it in big and little ways.

Just consider what Cpl. Che’ Atkinson of the Prince George’s County Police Department did for a woman and her child. In 2015, he noticed a homeless woman and her 1-year-old hanging out in the police department’s lobby.

Fox News reported that she told him that she’d suffered from domestic violence and couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. Atkinson helped her contact a relative who would provide some shelter, but the individual couldn’t come and pick her up promptly.

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So Atkinson went above and beyond: He bought them a meal and paid for a hotel room.

“I had the extra money,” he said. “What would it hurt just to put them up for a night to make sure they’re safe?”

The Daily Hampshire Gazette chronicled a similar story in Northampton, Massachusetts. In 2016, 53-year-old Paul Zabawa found himself in a sticky situation.

He’d gotten low on gas and only had $1.79 on him. After giving the paltry amount to a gas station clerk, he’d started filling up his car — only to have the meter climb above $20.

Unbeknownst to Zabawa, he’d used the wrong pump, and the disgruntled attendant said the police would have to work it out. Yet when Northampton Police Officer Michael Szawlowski arrived, he didn’t clap Zabawa in cuffs.

Rather, he asked, “How much?” Then he paid for Zabawa’s gas.

An owner of a St. Clair Shores, Michigan, Citgo station watched almost the exact same situation unfold on August 31. Seth Kazz said an elderly woman approached him and wanted to buy $3 in gas.

He saw she must be desperate, because that $3 was in change rather than bills. Little did she or Kazz know that help was standing right behind her.

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According to KTNV, a local officer overheard the exchange and offered to pump her gas for her. After they went out to the vehicle, the policeman listened to her story about trying to survive after her husband’s death and struggling with finances.

That was when he came back in and bought $20 of fuel for her. “Nowadays there’s so much negativity towards police officers,” Kazz wrote on Facebook.

“I’m not saying every officer is perfect, (and) I’m sure some are at fault at times. We all make mistakes, but we should all respect, appreciate, and thank them for what they do.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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