Kindness when it counts: officer's action goes viral
MONTOURSVILLE, LYCOMING COUNTY (WOLF) —
Overwhelmed by thousands of likes, comments, shares, emails, and phone calls, from around the country, the Montoursville Police Department didn't know would happen when an intern snapped a photo, and posted it to their Facebook page on Thursday.
"We don't publicize those things normally, but there happened to be a picture so we put that on there thinking people might enjoy seeing that and had no idea that it would get that much attention," said Deputy Chief Jason Bentley.
84-year-old Roger Baker needed a ride to the hospital.
His wife Carol was had just been resuscitated by paramedics after going into cardiac arrest, and was headed to intensive care at UPMC Susquehanna.
"I said, 'do you have any way to get there', and he said, 'I have family, but they're in Maryland', and he says, 'I do have a car but I don't feel comfortable driving'. So we have a patrol number for the car, and I said, 'just give this number a call'," said Montoursville Police Chief Jeff Gyurina.
Deputy Chief Bentley was the one on the other end of that call.
"That's what we do all the time and it's nothing unusual for us to do that. I enjoyed the trip to the hospital. We talked about his time in the military, my time in the military. We talked about things besides what was going on," said Officer Bentley.
And what was going on... was heavy.
"She got a stroke and I've been taking care of her at home. That's why I put in a stair lift and I bought this used car that I could give her a good ride in, but she never rode in it," said Baker.
Roger recently hurt his hip. So when the two got to the hospital, Officer Bentley offered his hand.
We showed Roger the picture for the first time.
"I'll be darned," he said. "Well that was wonderful. I think the relationship between the police and the people is wonderful."
Officers say they didn't know the impact that moment would have.
"You wanna see the good in people, and I can probably speak for most of the police departments here, that there's a heck of a lot more good than there are bad," said Chief Gyurina.
Just so Roger could be at his wife's bedside.
He says Carol is on the downward slope, and her health likely won't improve.
"She'll be gone in a day or two. After 70 years," Roger shared through tears.
The two met while she was in the USO and he was a Sgt. in the army. They were married December 5th, 1959.
He says she's a "a beautiful woman", who could always out-dance him.