Ocala, Florida – Sadly, it is all too often the case that homeless people are ignored or bypassed by other people. It can get to the point that ordinary people forget that the person they see off to the side of the road is in fact a human being. Well, Sergeant Erica Hay of the Ocala Police Department (OPD) reminded herself of this reality recently.
During her morning travels as an officer, Sgt. Hay stopped by the local Dunkin Donuts for a breakfast. On her way into the venue, she took notice of homeless man sitting off to the side. She decided to do the man a solid and buy him a breakfast meal. Upon coming out of the restaurant she handed him the meal, but then did something unexpected; she sat down to eat her meal alongside him.
Interestingly enough, a local resident by the name of Tiana happened to witness the scene and took photographs of the encounter. Tiana posted the picture on her Facebook wall where it soon went viral. It turns out that Sgt. Hay’s gesture touched the heartstrings of many people. Speaking about the incident, Sgt. Hays stated that she learned the homeless man was actually a very good man who was down on his luck. There was actually a sad story behind his homelessness, but it did not erase the fact that he is a human being. For her part, Sgt. Hays did not expect any special attention for her actions; she was merely following her oath to “protect & serve”.