When Officer Kevin Coates with the Sterling Heights Police Department in Michigan pulled a man over for speeding on Sept. 30, he had no idea he’d end up at the man’s house an hour later, helping him connect a television — but that’s exactly what happened after an unusual series of events.
It was around 7:30 p.m. when Officer Coates made what seemed like a routine traffic stop, but when he approached the driver, he could tell the 79-year-old, known only as David, was having a difficult time.
According to the police department, David was “visibly upset and crying” as he started to tell Coates his tale.
“What’s going on tonight?” the officer can be heard saying in the dashcam video shared by the department.
“Everything’s going wrong,” the man said, his voice cracking. “My wife’s real sick, and my son’s mentally ill. I really try to drive right.”
And then, the reason for his current distress came out: “I bought a television today because I wanted to make my wife happy, you know, and I can’t get it hooked up.”
In his attempt to brighten his ailing wife’s day, he was unable to figure out how to install the television and get it set up. He’d been going around town trying to find help to no avail.
“David was running around to different stores trying to get help but was unable to,” the department shared. “He was clearly frustrated and needed help.”
Seeing the man’s state and feeling for the elderly gentleman and his noble endeavor, the officer decided to make things personal. He gave the man a verbal warning for speeding and got the man’s contact information.
Within the hour, he showed up at David’s house with two other officers in tow to help get the television problem sorted.
“Officer Coates observed a traffic violation and through his investigation, it was determined this gentleman could use a helping hand,” the department posted on Facebook, along with the video of the interaction. “With all the obstacles in today’s world, a little compassion and understanding goes a long way. Great work officers Coates, Verougstraete & Jakushevich!”
He could have given the man a ticket and gone on his way, but he exercised his humanity and had compassion, a decision that David deeply appreciated and Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski commended.
“They all came in,” David told WDIV-TV. “They moved my TV. They set it up and in a short time they were gone. You know? I said, ‘Wow, what service.’ I didn’t expect this from the Sterling Heights Police Officers.”
“I’m very proud of Officer Coates, Officer Verougstraete, and new recruit Officer Jakushevich for going above and beyond to help our residents,” Dwojakowski said.
“This is just another example of the amazing service that the Sterling Heights Police Department provides our community.”