Teen Surprised at Graduation by Officer Who Delivered Him on Side of Road 18 Years Ago


It’s pretty common for women to give birth to their babies in hospitals. It seems like the safest place with doctors and nurses at hand.

There are still plenty of people who choose to have their children at home, but every once in a while someone will have a more interesting origin story.

Melissa Duboyce and her husband were on the way to the hospital to bring their new little one into the world.

The contractions were close together, and soon it was clear that they wouldn’t be making it to the hospital in time. So her husband Joe did the best thing he could think of: he found a cop.

Officer Robert Hunt had been finishing up a different traffic stop when a van pulled to the side of the road in front of him.

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“I was finishing the traffic stop up and a minivan pulls over and the husband, Joe, he gets out and he (says) my wife is in labor and I don’t know what to do and kind of frantic,” Hunt said. “I grabbed a pair of gloves and I went around and she was in labor.”

The baby faced some difficulties, as the umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck and he had to have his airway cleared by Hunt before he could start breathing.

“I had to clear his mouth and get him to cry. He started crying and another officer who responded brought a towel and we wrapped him in it and handed him to Melissa,” Hunt said.

Fortunately the cop was able to help out the young family and the boy was healthy. They named the baby Thomas, and chose “Robert” — the cop’s name — as his middle name.

“The delivery went really smoothly,” Melissa said. “He did everything and the next thing I knew, we were on our way to the hospital and he was doing great.”

That was 18 years ago. Thomas graduated from Oakdale High School this year, and had a surprise guest at the ceremony.

He knew the man who showed up from the stories he’d been told and the photos he’d seen, but he hadn’t yet met the man officially.

“Before the ceremony, they had us all gather in the gymnasium at Mount St. Mary’s and one of my teachers came up to me and said someone who hasn’t seen you in 18 years is here and he says he wants to see you,” Thomas said.

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“So I was really confused. I had no idea he was going to be there. But as soon as I walked out and saw him, I recognized him from pictures and everything. So it was a nice surprise seeing him there.”

Officer Hunt is still thankful to have been involved in the roadside birth — it’s one of the few positive on-the-job encounters he’s had and held onto during his 24 years of being an officer.

Originally it was a friend of Hunt’s, a fellow officer, who spotted an old photo of Hunt in his own son’s yearbook. It was a picture of the officer holding baby Thomas, who had gone to the same school as the other officer’s son.

They worked out a way to get Hunt to the ceremony, and he was able to surprise Thomas there. Thomas and his mother had experienced the loss of Joe in August, so having the officer show up was heartwarming and encouraging during a time they really needed it.

“My husband passed away in August and it has been a really hard year and this was a really nice surprise,” Melissa said. “So this is really a blessing and I am thankful for (Hunt) and his wife.”

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