St. Petersburg, Fl. Officer Aids 2 elderly people in distress after crime

January 27, 2016 St. Petersburg, Fl. Debbie and her husband, James Poole were returning from the hospital where James had been in rehab from his recent strokes. Stopping for gas they asked a stranger for assistance that is when the trouble started.

Debbie explained that the card wouldn’t work and she was having problems getting fuel for the vehicle. James had asked a nearby man to help them.

The stranger who appeared only too happy to help the elderly couple who has had their share of problems recently asked questions like “is this a credit or debit card? What is the pin number?” Once he had that information he took off running with their card.

He left the two stranded without any money or gas and that is when they met Officer Douglas Gaddis of St. Petersburg.

Officer Gaddis “went above and beyond” Debbie said with a tear in her eye although he says he was just doing the right thing.

Although he took a report of the theft he also contacted the credit card company because James was unable to articulate very well what had happened due to his strokes. Officer Gaddis canceled the credit card so that the thief would not profit from his crime.

He then took his own credit card and purchased gas for the couple to make their way home.

All three individuals Debbie, James and the Officer were interviewed by news stations including 10News and News Channel 8 about the story.

Officer Gaddis was quoted as saying “For anybody to prey on these people like this is, it’s just disgusting to me,”

While James had visibly suffered strokes and was disabled what was unknown was that Debbie herself was recovering from a recent kidney transplant.

“He put gas in my car because he knew I didn’t have any money and he really helped us,” said Debbie. “He went above and beyond.  He really did.” she added “It’s good to know there’s people left like him,”

John & Debbie Poole with St Petersburg Florida Officer Douglas Gaddis
John & Debbie Poole with St Petersburg Florida Officer Douglas Gaddis

Photo Capture: 10News

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