Cop's Kindness to Homeless Man Warms Hearts
'Truly a sign of compassion'
By Brownie Marie,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2015 10:39 AM CDT
Ocala Police Department Sgt. Erica Hay was captured sharing breakfast with a homeless man on July 16, 2015.   (Facebook/TiAnna Greene)

(Newser) – Another day, another viral post about America's police: This time, though, a Florida woman spotted a police officer's random act of kindness and posted a series of photos earlier this month celebrating Ocala Police Sgt. Erica Hay, who sat down on a curb with a homeless man to share breakfast. "I didn't know who she was, but I really wanted her to know that it touched me and I'm pretty sure it touched that gentleman," the witness, TiAnna Greene, tells TODAY. "I told my daughter, 'See. That is truly a sign of compassion.' It really brightened my day, and I actually had several good days after from that one encounter."

The photos were shared with the Ocala Police Department, which identified Hay. "She bought & shared a meal with a homeless citizen," the department says, per WFTV Orlando. "We're not a large community, so I know most everybody, especially the homeless in the area, but I didn't know him," says the 20-year police veteran, adding that "nobody wants to eat alone. He was great. He was nice to talk to. He's got a story, just like everyone else. It just happens to be a sad story." Of the attention she's getting, Hays sees a greater good: "I'm just glad that it's helped others see police officers in a good way. We all need that."