For years, one Alabama police officer has been lecturing others to never let strangers in their cars or pick up hitchhikers, however, this past week he broke his own rule and it’s one of the best decisions he’s ever made.
Off-duty Weaver police Lt. Charles Plitt had been driving home with a new riding lawn mower when he spotted an elderly man walking on the side of a busy road. “I noticed an older gentleman walking southbound on 431 dressed nicely, but walking very slow and he appeared exhausted. An 18 wheeler flew by and the wind almost knocked him over,” Plitt said in a post to Facebook. “I rolled my window down and asked him if he was o.k. and he looked up at me and said he couldn’t go any further. He told me “I tried, but I just can’t make it….I can’t walk no more.”
70-year-old James Wright explained he was walking to see his wife in a nursing home like he did every other day. However, he recently had a stroke and was struggling to walk any further. “I asked him where she was and he informed me of the nursing home she was in, so I told him I would take him there. After he got in, I thought back to how many times I tell people to be cautious about picking up strangers and about being very careful about picking up hitchhikers… but for some reason I knew this situation was different.”
During the ride, Wright explained his car had broken down and had no other way to get to his beloved wife, who has Dementia, and also told his guardian angel about his 22 years of service as a soldier in the U.S. Army. “All I could do is listen and try not to tear up myself… As we pulled into the nursing home he wiped his tears away and shook my hand. He smiled, then thanked me again and with a burst of energy he hurried inside, not looking so feeble or defeated anymore. I pulled away and continued home, but I thought about this encounter with James the whole way back.”
For Plitt, the encounter reminded him what Memorial Day is all about and has since started working to see if Wright’s car can be fixed or if the department can help him with any transportation needs.
Would you have stopped if you saw an exhausted elderly man on the side of the road? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: WBAL TV]