Motorists traveling through Prince George County in Maryland during a nasty rainstorm caught sight of a drastic rescue effort unfolding in the middle of the highway. Standing in the pouring rain getting soaked was Greenbelt Police Officer Sharnise Hawkins-Graham who was overseeing the rescue.
Carolyn Hammett and her hubby were two of the motorists who stopped their vehicle when they spied Officer Hawkins-Graham standing on the center line. The officer was protecting something out there, but they couldn’t tell just what it was.
They were alarmed at first of course. But then they noticed the officer was smiling despite being drenched.
Carolyn’s husband hopped out of the vehicle and rushed to the officer’s aid with an umbrella. That’s when they realized that the officer was protecting a snapping turtle struggling to make its way across the rain-covered road.
Officer Hawkins-Graham feared that the turtle might get run over since it was raining so hard and visibility was limited. So she left the dry, warm comfort of her squad car to personally provide it with shelter from the storm and traffic.
The officer had called animal control for assistance first, since snapping turtles can be dangerous, but help hadn’t arrived yet. According to The Dodo, she actually was on her way back from Honor Guard detail at a naturalization ceremony when the officer spied the turtle and just knew she had to help, even if it meant she’d be getting sodden in order to protect a four-legged reptile and not a human.
“I couldn’t believe that she was standing there guarding that turtle in all that rain. Not many people would do that, regardless of their occupation. She was serving and protecting in every sense of the word.”
Carolyn and her husband ran home to grab a couple shovels they used to scoop up the turtle and relocate it to a wooded area where it was safe from traffic. The officer thanked Carolyn and her hubby for their help and then continued on her way.
But Carolyn couldn’t stop thinking about what the officer had done and decided to share this feel-good story. What a wonderfully compassionate gesture Officer Hawkins-Graham made for the turtle.