A North Carolina mother was already having a bad day as she pumped the last bit of gas she could afford into her car. As she was getting ready to leave, she heard a knock on her window, and as soon as she saw who it was, she figured her bad day was about to get a lot worse.
Fortunately, that’s not exactly what happened to Kat Hartman, who was at a Huntersville 7-Eleven with her son, Liam, reported the Charlotte Observer. Hartman had just pawned off the stroller she had for her 2-year-old and used her last $6 to put fuel into her gas tank to get back home, paying for it in change.
“I needed some gas for myself to get to work for the rest of the week,” Hartman told WCNC.
While inside the store, Liam had asked Kat if he could have some chocolate milk, but since the single mom didn’t have any more cash on her, she had to tell him no. But someone was watching her interaction with her son, and when she went to leave the store, she was hit with a surprise that would leave her bawling her eyes out.
Hartman loaded her son into her car after pumping her gas, and she was getting ready to pull out of the parking lot. However, before she could even get moving, she heard a knock on the car window. After seeing who it was, she thought her bad day was about to get much worse.
“I thought I was in trouble. ‘Oh, what else could go wrong?’” she recalled.
Fortunately, she didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, it was what she had done right inside of the store that grabbed the attention of Huntersville Police Officer Thomas Bautista.
“‘I saw you were paying in change and only put a small amount in your car,’” Hartman recalled Bautista saying to her. “‘I told myself I was going to do something good for someone else today, so I’m going to fill up your tank.’”
Hartman said in a Facebook post that she “immediately” started bawling her eyes out at the generosity of Officer Bautista. “Not all cops are bad! This was amazing. I can’t thank him enough,” she said.
Kat Hartman was having a rough day. Having to sell her 2-year-old’s stroller at a children’s consignment store for gas money, she felt “low.”
(Photo: Via Facebook)
Apparently, this type of thing isn’t uncommon with Bautista either, Huntersville Police Capt. Scott Sharp says. “He’s just one of those guys who goes out of his way to help people,” the captain said. He’s also well liked around the community, and apparently, even the younger generation enjoys talking and interacting with him.
It’s great to see stories about police doing good for their communities, especially with so much negative publicity recently. With each story, we get just a little more reassurance, that despite the current narrative, not all officers are bad people.
Kudos to Officer Bautista for helping out a struggling mother after setting out to help someone in need. It’s officers like him that help us all to be more trusting of the police and feel safer in our communities knowing that there are officers who truly care.