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.