Beyond the Badge: JSO officer helps man get around easier

The JSO officer said he saw a man on a worn-down bike and bought the man a new tire

Officer Terrance Hightower with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office had a simple message after seeing a man riding his bike with only one functional tire.    

Remember who you are. I saw this guy today. He was just doing what he has to do, the right way. Sometimes you just have to help someone. He had no idea I was going back to his house later, after work, with two new tires for his bike.

Hightower purchased 61-year-old Alfonzo Stacey two new tires for his bike.

The gesture received praise from hundreds of people across the First Coast.

First Coast News was the only media present when the pair met again at Stacey's home on the Northside of Jacksonville.

They seemed like long time friends when in fact, they'd just met a day ago.

"I was quite embarrassed," Alfonso Stacey, a shy man, with a calm demeanor said.

Officer Terrance Hightower was patrolling his beat on the Northside when he heard a peculiar sound. "It sounded like someone was just scrapping the concrete with metal," Hightower said. 

That's when he said he saw Stacey riding the bike that had one tire on the front and the rim of a tire on the back.
     
Stacey, who is a handyman, said his bike is his only mode of transportation. Recently he's fallen on hard times.

The day he met Officer Hightower, he was heading to work, hoping to buy a tire for his bike with the money, Stacey said.

"I grew up in a time where you do for yourself," Stacey said. "Nobody owes you nothing. So, if you want something, you have to work to get it."

Hightower stopped Stacey. The two bonded over their love for bikes and roller skating. The conversation left an impression on Hightower who said he had to help.

"When you have a chance or ability to make a difference for somebody," Hightower said.
If you can do it, do it."

Hightower promised Stacey he'd return in one hour. Stacey said he didn't believe the officer, but was shocked when Hightower called him an hour later to tell him he was on the way with two brand new tires for his bike.

Stacey attached the tires to another bike he said is in better shape.
 
What's interesting about all of this, Stacey said he almost didn't stop to talk to Hightower. "My first thought was he was belittling me, teasing me. Picking at me," he said.

That is, until he said he realized Hightower was being genuine.

JSO posted the good deed to their Facebook page. The post has been liked and shared hundreds of times.

The 23-year JSO veteran, who wears the batman sign on his vest, like most heroes do, humbly said he's just doing what we all should do, to make our community a better place.

"When he did that it just showed me that you should never count people out," Stacey said. 

Officer Hightower sid he plans to stay in contact with Stacey. The pair also plan to go skating together and Hightower is also hoping to find Stacey steady employment.
        
Job well done, Officer Hightower!
           

 


 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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