Typically when an eyewitness catches something on camera, involving police officers, it’s often a situation with a negative outcome.
But one woman in Ocala, took it upon herself to capture a very uplifting scene that she witnessed Thursday morning at an area gas station.
TiAnna Greene, happened to witness an Ocala police officer sitting down at a gas station, having breakfast with a homeless man. She took photos of the exchange after noticing how the officer really was enjoying that moment she had with the stranger.
The pictures ended up on the police department’s Instagram account. Greene wrote that while she didn’t know the officer, she admired her and that the officer’s act of kindness made her morning.
Greene went on to say, “If anyone knows this fine officer, please let her know that she made a difference today not only in the life of this gentleman, but in the lives of everyone that she comes in contact with. I’m sure of that!”
The officer was identified on the OPD Instagram page as Sgt. Erica Hay, who was “caught in an act of kindness by a citizen.” Police confirmed for the community that it was in fact Hay who bought and shared a meal with a homeless citizen.
Others that know her shared, “She’s always been an amazing officer.”
Sgt. Hay did not think she would get all this attention for her actions, but she did speak briefly to the Ocala Post. She said that the homeless man had a sad story, was very nice and appreciated the free food and conversation.
“I absolutely did not do this for attention,” Sergeant Hay said. “I was heading to Dunkin’ Donuts to get breakfast when I saw this man sitting by himself, so, I decided to buy him breakfast. I then went over, sat down, and ate breakfast with him.”
Sgt. Hay never met the man until today.