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‘I Burst Into Tears’: Police Officer Gives Speeding Doctor N95 Masks Instead of Ticket

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Dr. Sarosh Janjua, a cardiologist, shares her unusual encounter with a police officer after she was pulled over for speeding.


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Tré Goins-Phillips

When one doctor was pulled over for speeding on a Minnesota highway, she expected a ticket. But what she drove away with instead left her in tears.

Dr. Sarosh Janjua, a cardiologist from Massachusetts, wrote about the encounter with the Minnesota state patrol officer in a Facebook post last week. When Janjua was first pulled over, the officer gave her a stern talking to, warning her she would “take up resources” if she got into an accident.

Despite his rough exterior, though, the cop chose not to give the doctor a speeding ticket in the middle of this coronavirus pandemic. Instead, she recalled, he gave her five N95 masks—a scarce commodity during this crisis.

“Feeling thoroughly chastised,” Janjua wrote, “I waited for him to write me a ticket. Instead, he told me he was going to let me off with a warning.”

“As I sputtered to apologize and say ‘thank you,’” she continued, “he reached in to hand me what I assumed was my license back. It wasn’t until my hand had closed around what he was giving me that its unexpected bulkiness drew my eyes to it.”

His act of generosity caused Janjua to “burst into tears.”

“Like all healthcare workers and emergency responders around the world, I have felt afraid of not having adequate protective equipment, and in my darkest moments, have worried about what would happen if I fell sick far from home,” wrote Janjua. “This complete stranger, who owed me nothing and is more on the front lines than I am, shared his precious masks with me, without my even asking.”

The police officer was later identified, according to NBC News, as Brian Schwartz, who noticed two used masks in Janjua’s bag and “thought [she] could use the extra masks.”

“Thank you to Sarosh for her hard work and dedication,” read a statement posted to the Minnesota State Patrol’s Facebook page. “Troopers are working hard during the pandemic and are thinking about all the first responders who are caring for Minnesotans during this critical time.”