When Texas mother Hillary Davis saw the flashing police lights behind her, she immediately burst into tears.
She knew she was driving with expired vehicle tags, but she did not have the money to pay for new ones.
Family members had been sick, her father-in-law was recovering from open heart surgery and Davis was feeling overwhelmed with the pressures of life.
She tried to stop crying as Gainesville Police Officer Eddie Veracruz approached her car.
Veracruz must have taken one look at Davis’ tear-stained face and felt compelled to help.
He instructed Davis to meet him at the Cooke County Tax Assessor’s office, where he paid $90 dollars to cover her vehicle tag fees out of his own pocket.
Davis was left crying again, flooded with joy and relief to have a helping hand in her time of need.
“We’re trying to get by day by day and this man had no idea what he was walking into,” Davis told KXXI-TV through tears. “He was wonderful.”
The act of kindness was the second time Veracruz had personally helped the Davis family.
In 2015, Veracruz found Davis’ 8-year-old autistic son, Sterling, wandering around outside after the boy climbed out of a window and left his house.
Veracruz was able to help Sterling get back home safe and sound.
On Feb. 27, Veracruz was awarded a Medal of Distinction coin for his acts of service from the city of Gainesville.
Gainesville City Manager Barry Sullivan described Veracruz as a “guardian angel.”
“A police officer is being recognized for what I think truly is in most of their hearts to help out the community,” Sullivan said.
Davis wrote a heartfelt letter to the Gainsville Daily Register, thanking Veracruz for his kindness and compassion.
“I just wanted to shine some light on an unsung hero who continues to help his community,” Davis wrote, “even the crying mess of a mom who had been having several bad weeks and he completely changed it with one simple act of kindness!”
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