Police Officer Pulls $20 Out of Own Pocket To Put Gas in Tank for Mother & Two Children


Have you ever bumped up against an immovable financial obstacle and found yourself with nowhere to turn? It’s a terrible feeling, a sense of absolute helplessness.

Worse than that, though, is the sense of desperation that tends to go along with it. Not only have you found yourself unable to meet some physical need, you find yourself dogged by mental torment.

Then a good Samaritan steps in, and the whole situation shifts. And if the helper happens to be someone who wears the blue? Then it’s even better.

A Knoxville, Tennessee, motorist experienced just that in August 2018. According to Inside Edition, an unknown driver stopped at a Pilot gas station and discovered he couldn’t fill up.

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Bystander Travis Van Norstran watched a police officer named Zack Herman drive up. Herman then proceeded to swipe his own debit card and pay for the man’s gas.

“[The officer] deserves the praise and recognition,” Van Norstran said. “In a world of protest, hate, debate, racism, violence and lack of respect for one another, it’s nice to know that there are officers such as this one [who] exemplify professionalism and what it means to protect and serve.”

KTRE reported that another officer named Eli Lenderman did much the same thing in Diboll, Texas, in early August. Trucker Lian Peng was attempting to fill his vehicle’s gas tank at a truck stop.

However, the card issued by his company wasn’t working, so Lenderman paid the bill — which was almost $200 — himself. Not long afterward, Peng visited the police department with money for reimbursement and words of praise.

Police Chief Baker said, “He could not quit expressing how kind and helpful the officers on scene were to him. This is exactly the type of brave and compassionate men and women that are serving this community.”

A Franklin, Ohio, officer also did his community well on Nov. 18. Officer Carlos Pardue was called to a Speedway station where he witnessed an incredibly sad scene.

A woman had given the clerk her last $20 bill, but when the attendant punched up the pump, he selected the wrong one. By the time the woman realized what was going on, an unknown driver had already filled up and left.

“By accident I told him five, or maybe he didn’t understand me, and I’m on pump nine, and there’s a gentleman pumping the gas that I paid for,” she explained when she called the police dispatcher.

“I don’t have any more money, and I’m sitting here with my two kids,” she continued. “I don’t know what to do.”

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But Pardue knew exactly how to handle the situation. He whipped out $20 and proceeded to pump the woman’s gas.

Soon the woman called the police station back, but this time she only had words of thanks. “He put $20 in my gas tank, and I just wanted them to know that he didn’t have to do that,” she said, fighting back sobs.

Franklin police Lt. Brian Pacifico told WLWT that “It wasn’t someone giving away money because they felt they should do it. [Pardue] did it because he wanted to do it. …

“He wouldn’t think twice about something like this. It was a simple gesture from him, and I think that he’s probably embarrassed by all the attention, if I have to be honest with you.”

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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.
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