“Any One of Us Would Have Done It, I Just Happened to be There First”

On 14 August 2014, Fort Myers, Florida, Police Officer Gil Benitez was sent to Bent Creek Loop Road in a lightning storm. Officer Benitez said, “It was raining so hard, I couldn’t even see the stop sign.” There he discovered Michael Arnold, whose electric wheelchair had malfunctioned and would not run. Mr. Arnold was stranded in the storm with an umbrella. He said, “The wind picked up like crazy. I got to the end of the street and everything just stopped on me.” Officer Benitez pushed Mr. Arnold and the wheelchair to Mr. Arnold’s home, which was a block away, and then he helped Mr. Arnold get dry and waited for Mr. Arnold’s family to return home. Mr. Arnold said, “There’s not many nice people in the U.S. but you’ll come across one, or two people, or three people, that are saying I’ve got to help, and that’s what they did.” Officer Benitez said, “Any one of us would have done it, I just happened to be there first.” Mr. Arnold said, “Sir, I am very grateful for your help. I didn’t even catch your name, but I thank you.”

For More Information: “Fort Myers officer saves man in wheelchair from storm.” ABC-7. 19 August 2014; updated 20 August 2014


For More Information: Lindsey Fry, “Caught on cam: FMPD officer wheels man to safety.” NBC-2. 19 August 2014


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