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Down-On-Luck Mom Finds Salvation In Compassionate Police Officer

When Kat Hartman, a young mother from Charlotte, North Carolina, noticed that she was running out of gas, she had no idea what she was going to do. With only $6 in her purse, Ms. Hartman didn’t know how she was going to fill her car up with enough gas to get home. In fact, if the young mother hadn’t sold her son’s stroller, she wouldn’t have had any money at all.

Accompanied by her son, Ms. Hartman finally spotted a 7-Eleven near Huntersville on Gilead Road. After carefully filling up her car with a tiny amount of gas, Ms. Hartman entered the 7-Eleven with her change.

While lining up to pay, Ms. Hartman’s son innocently asked for some chocolate milk. Choking back tears, Ms. Hartman admitted that she couldn’t afford it right now, telling the Charlotte Observer: “I had to tell him ‘no’ because I didn’t have enough money.”

After paying, Ms. Hartman got back in her vehicle and was just about to leave the station when she noticed a cop signaling her down. The next thing Ms. Hartman knew, a Huntersville police officer, Thomas Bautista, was asking her to wind down her windows. What happens next will blow you away.

“I saw you were paying in change and only put a small amount in your car,” said Officer Bautista. “I told myself I was going to do something good for someone else today, so I’m going to fill up your tank.”

The police officer’s incredible compassion and generosity floored Ms. Hartman. “I immediately started (bawling) my eyes out,” Hartman wrote on Facebook after the incident. “Not all cops are bad! This was amazing. I can’t thank him enough.”

When asked about her statement “Not all cops are bad!” Ms. Hartman quickly clarified her stance, telling social media users that she had been referring to some of the recent cases of police brutality, discrimination and abuse of power.

Since writing about the experience on Facebook, Ms. Hartman’s post had been liked more than 22,000 times. “It just shows how social media drives things,” emphasized Scott Sharp, the serving captain for the Huntersville Police Department.

During an interview with the Charlotte Observer, Captain Sharp praised Officer Bautista for his situational and emotional awareness. “He’s just one of those guys who goes out of his way to help people,” added the captain.

Prior to joining the Huntersville Police Department, Officer Bautista has served in a similar position in the Salisbury Police Department. While serving with Bautista, Captain Sharp has seen the young officer rise from a low-level patrolman to a school resource officer and even a canine officer.

In fact, Captain Sharp believes that Officer Bautista was one of the most effective school resource officers his department had ever seen. “They [students] could come and talk to him,” said Captain Sharp.

When asked about Officer Bautista’s latest accomplishment, Captain Sharp told local media outlets: “It’s just nice to see one of our officers being recognized for something they do when no one’s really watching them.”

Source: Charlotte Observer
Photo: Facebook, Flickr/Mike Mozart, Tomás Del Coro

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