“‘Can I Give You a Hug?’ I Just Looked at Him and Said, ‘Sir?’ and He Said, ‘Can I Hug You?’ I Just Smiled and I Said, ‘Absolutely’”

In December 2014 in Lee County, Florida, Gregory Cooke went to the Lee County Justice Center to pay court fees; unfortunately, he lost an envelope containing $400 in cash. Mr. Cooke said, “I didn’t even realize it ’cause I had paperwork in my hands. That’s when I had to start praying.” Fortunately, a first-floor cashier saw somebody pick up something from the floor. Cashier Nora Fort Gervais said, “I got to thinking about it, and I said, ‘Wait a minute, I did see somebody pick up something?’” She contacted Lee County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Kevin Karlsen, who reviewed security footage that revealed both Mr. Cooke dropping the envelope and someone else picking it up. Police Sergeant Karlsen got Mr. Cooke’s money back and arranged to meet at a nearby gas station to give him the money. Police Sergeant Karlsen said, “He just looked at me and he said basically, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ I just looked at him and said, ‘Sir?’ and he said, ‘Can I hug you?’ I just smiled and I said, ‘Absolutely.’” Mr. Cooke said, “With all the crazy things that are going on, and the bad press that police get … those police officers went above and beyond the call of duty for me.”

For More Information: Trent Kelly, “Deputy helps Lehigh man recover lost money.” NBC2 News. 11 December 2014


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