• Today's Daily Devotion
Man OR Angel?
A FULLY SWORN peace officer with arrest powers, a badge, and a gun, I was in my second month of policing. It was winter, and I was working midnights in a small town. I saw a ...

MAN OR ANGEL?

Officer Richard Neil (Ret.)

Huber Heights, OH, Police Division

A FULLY SWORN peace officer with arrest powers, a badge, and a gun, I was in my second month of policing. It was winter, and I was working midnights in a small town. I saw a man stumbling down the sidewalk, obviously intoxicated, weaving back and forth between the sidewalk and the road. He wasn’t wearing a coat, so I asked if he would like a ride home. Without reason he viciously attacked me, and in two seconds “community policing” became “officer survival!”

The man was 6‘4“ tall, weighed about 250 pounds, and was high on PCP. That gave him a very unfair advantage against my 5‘9“ height and 185 pounds. Thinking I was doing a good deed, I hadn’t told Dispatch of my contact with him, so no help was on the way. I tried to get something off my belt to defend myself, but rolling around in the icy slush, I was fighting for my life! In spite of police training in defensive tactics and my military background, the PCP made him oblivious to my blows. He tugged at my belt, going for my gun, but grabbed the radio by mistake. I was in big trouble and knew I had to use deadly force quickly! Otherwise he would knock me out, get my gun, and kill me.

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Continuing to hit with my left hand, I grabbed my .40 caliber Smith & Wesson with my right. As I opened the snap with my thumb, blood sprayed over my face. At first I thought it was mine, but it wasn’t—it was his! As he rolled off me to one side, I looked up and saw an elderly gentleman; he had hit the man hard with a flashlight! He reached down, gave me a hand, and, with genuine concern, asked if I was okay. He helped me brush off the slush and snow, and reminded me to call an ambulance for the man and assistance for myself. I thanked the stranger repeatedly, and asked where he had come from. He said he was just passing by, and noticed I needed help.

For a moment I turned to attend to the suspect lying in the snow, then back to speak to my rescuer. He was gone without a trace. I had never seen him before, and have never seen him again. By the way he carried himself, I wondered if he was a retired police officer. Whether he was man or angel, I don’t know. I just know he was there in my time of need, mercifully acting as a guardian of God’s justice.


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