A Michigan police officer is receiving sweeping praise for offering a simple gesture to a struggling man in need of a little kindness, love, and grace.
The act of compassion recently unfolded when Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Jacob Thorne and Fred Parisek received a call from an individual worried about a car parked on the side of the road.
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“The caller was concerned for the driver’s safety and believed he may have been passed out,” a statement read on the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Thorne arrived on the scene and met a man authorities are calling “Joe” to protect his privacy.
Joe told Thorne he had pulled over on the side of the road while on his way to work “because he was feeling down and just needed a break.”
The man said he didn’t want to hurt himself but was upset and facing several stressful issues in his life. These struggles left him feeling totally overwhelmed, as he broke down in tears. And that’s when Thorne stepped in to offer a truly kind gesture — one not often seen amid negative headlines.
“Deputy Thorne asked what he could do to help, and Joe simply responded that he could use a hug,” according to the sheriff’s office. “That was all, a hug.”
Thorne wasted no time making good on the request.
“Deputy Thorne was more than happy to help a fellow human and gave Joe a good, strong hug as Joe was able to release some emotional tears,” the statement continued.
And that’s not all. Thorne and Parisek spent additional time with Joe and had a discussion about his emotional needs.
“We could get you some help,” Thorne said, with both officers offering encouraging words and giving him information on professionals he could talk to.
They even left him with their contact information so he could reach out if he feels overwhelmed again.
“Call that number,” Thorne said. “I’ll come out and meet you.”
In the end, Joe said he felt much better after the officers’ kind handling of the situation.
“I appreciate it,” he said. “I do feel a lot better.”
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office praised the officers and offered a powerful reminder to everyone who sees the condensed video of the interaction and the statement: “we are all human.”
“We all have good days, bad days, and days that we feel we might not make it through,” the statement said. “But you can.”
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