An elderly widow, seventy-five-year-old Detroit resident, Delores Marotta, fished out a few crumpled dollar bills to get the tiniest amount of gas required to get her home. But as Officer Todd Bing witnessed her tragic predicament, he knew he had to do something true to his police force’s mantra of “protecting and serving.”
“She was so slow-moving that I was like “I’m going to go pump this gas for her,” said Bing.
As the two chatted, the officer discovered that Marotta was having trouble paying her property taxes and was struggling to afford buying groceries and filling up the car her daughter gifted her. But as the police officer pumped her the gas, the elderly lady noticed that the $3 mark came and went very quickly. “It seemed like he was putting in a lot of gas, because I only told him $3,” Marotta told CNN affiliate WXYZ-TV.
Officer Bing decided that he would bless this struggling woman by filling up her car to the brim.
“It was just the right thing to do. Officers do this kind of thing all of the time,” the police officer explained.
After finishing up his random act of kindness, officer Bing discovered that the gas station’s owner had captured him in a photo, which had since gone viral.
Seth Kasyouhanan described the scene in a Facebook post which has been shared over 22,000 times:
“An elderly woman came into my station today and gave me $3 in change to put on her gas pump. A police officer was standing behind her and happened to hear the amount and saw she was using a cane, struggling to walk back to her car. He went outside and told her to sit in the car as he would pump the gas for her. After a few minutes of getting to know one another he realized she was really struggling and didn’t have any gas or money left. The $3 will only get her so far. He told her to hang tight- came inside and put her another $20 out of his pocket. He went back and finished pumping and she told him her husband had recently passed away and she’s stuck paying all their bills and is behind every month. This $20 really helped her! She would of most likely ended up running out of gas.”
“Nowadays there’s so much negativity towards police officers. No one respects them. We hear all the complaints and “bad” stories. I’m not saying every officer is perfect, I’m sure some are at fault at times. We all make mistakes—but we should all respect, appreciate, and thank them for what they do. Leaving your family every day to try and make sure everyone’s else’s is safe can be tough. Think about it—who do you call when you’re in danger? Who’s running in harm’s way as you’re running away?”
He added concluded: “To all the men and women in blue I THANK YOU for your service!”
Kasyouhanan has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help raise some money for Marotta. Despite setting a modest target of $5,000, the page has already generated over $22,000.
“I’m raising money for a customer of mine. She is a single elderly lady that has been struggling to pay her bills ever since her husband passed away,” he wrote on the page. “She’s roughly short $1000 on her bills every month. Some days she has money for gas and groceries and some days she doesn’t. I believe it’s only right to help someone that’s struggling. If we all get together and work as a team we can make this world a better place!”
As for Marotta, she sees officer Bing’s wonderful generosity as a reminder of God’s goodness.
“God must have sent him there for me,” she told CNN.
“I appreciate everything, and I want people to know how really grateful I am for the help.”