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Officer rescues man whose wheelchair broke down in storm

Officer Rescues Man Whose Wheelchair Broke Down In Storm

A dash camera caught Fort Myers Police Officer Gil Benitez helping Michael Arnold, who was stranded -- his electric wheelchair having shut down in the midst of a violent Florida thunderstorm. Benitez braved nearby lightning and torrential rain to push Arnold home.

Not only that, but Benitez also dried off Arnold and stayed with him until family arrived.

Tremendous, and deserved, praise has been sent Benitez's way. Media outlets have used terms like "hero" and "above and beyond the call of duty."

To which Benitez says via WBBH: "Anyone would have done that; I just happened to be there first."

Benitez was responding to a call from somebody who was concerned about Arnold being stuck in the rain, so, yeah -- he was just doing his job. But besides Arnold being saved from a potentially dangerous situation, WZVN points out another reason why people are loving this story.

"As we spoke to the officer today, he reminded us while there are bad things that do happen in our cities, there are many good things. Tonight was a wonderful chance to shine a light on that good."

Earlier this week, another police officer showed extraordinary kindness.

Ohio Officer Tom Ondecker responded to calls about a man in a wheelchair trying to cross a busy five-lane street. A citizen followed Ondecker, taking photos of him as he walked the man home and carried his groceries. The Streetsboro Police Department said on its Facebook page, "Tom is a great example of what it really means to be a police officer."

And Kansas City police posted this viral video of an officer dancing with a couple of kids earlier this month.

If nothing else, stuff like this is also great PR.

As for Fort Myers Officer Benitez, he's earned appreciation from Arnold, who told local reporters he's very grateful the officer was there.

Join the discussion

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yamel86 August 22 2014 at 8:49 AM

Two more Cops caught in the act of being "good guys". We'd all be in big trouble without them.

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1 reply
Lesby yamel86 August 22 2014 at 1:50 PM

Yes... a human being helping another human being and I think it has nothing to do with him being a cop. We all know that cops can be true jerks sometimes. However; this particular exemplifies what he represents, we should see this more often.

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2 replies
leavesbound Lesby August 22 2014 at 5:48 PM

The problem is that except for things like this, usually only bad deeds make the news.

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cobaia Lesby August 22 2014 at 9:31 PM

Yes, Lesbo..but it's humans like you who talk trash about most cops..you are probably the person who would call to tell the police to come help someone while you observed from your veranda. And vice versa, all cops know that people, like you, can be and are jerks.

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jay love August 22 2014 at 6:52 AM

Despite the FEW instances of bad police work/activity we are bombarded with by the "news" media whom is always seeking a story to drive, be it good, or bad, (usually as bad as they can find) MOST of our fine law enforcement officers are great upstanding people who are doing a thankless job not many of us would ever want to take given the pay and hours and crappy people they must deal with in a professional manor on a daily basis no matter how crappy they are treated by so many they come into contact with. just due to the nature of the business and that most people they handle every day are bad apples, I can see where they tend to get complacent and tired of being human garbage handlers, never thanked and always first to be the bad guy when things go wrong! just imagine where we as a society would be without those among us who enforce the RULES of society for the betterment of the whole? and maybe take some time in your day to thank a police officer or fire/EMT personel??

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Dan Buswell August 22 2014 at 5:30 AM


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dianecloninger August 22 2014 at 12:04 PM

thank god for this humanitarian and a officer to boot!

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auntiesuzieq August 22 2014 at 12:00 PM

...so many great cops. As a 64 yr old Chicago ...My life has been saved 4 times in my life!!! Officers come in do great things and go without even telling their names. I love all Chicago police and pray for those who have their own issues and still get to work. Some key have a bad day but we all do. Chicago PD and Firedp are all unsung heroes Love them

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ironmikemiata August 22 2014 at 9:39 AM

I used to live in Ft.Myers,Glad to hear there are still heros who serve & protect,God bless this one

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HEIDE August 22 2014 at 12:31 PM

I think there are a lot more good cops than bad. However, bad news sells more papers and attracts more viewers to TV. Maybe the media should consider changing their way of showing us only bad news

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onemadashell August 22 2014 at 9:04 AM

umm. protect and serve. how is this special? hero? NO.

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1 reply
Rae Turner onemadashell August 22 2014 at 4:34 PM

It is special because we see it so rarely, that is why.

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Cicero Ins. August 22 2014 at 2:06 PM

Thank you, AOL, for showing the good side of most of our police, outshadowed by the few who are not who get all of the attention. I wish you could highlight Wilson out of Ferguson who is also a good guy.

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Danny August 22 2014 at 9:32 AM

Huff should, cause their coverage of Fergerson is a shame

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1 reply
BlackDeep Danny August 22 2014 at 9:57 AM

I have to wonder how muhc of the violence Huff can take direct credit for.

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