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Cop Stops Writing Panhandling Vagrant A Ticket, Orders Him Into Cruiser Instead.

After seeing an elderly guy panhandling for money at one of Hayward, California’s busiest motorway off-ramps, Deputy Jacob Swalwell of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office decided he had to issue a ticket. Swalwell added that he had seen the same person out there asking for money for a couple of years, which posed a dilemma.

It’s a safety issue, and that was more of a worry than the panhandling, Swalwell said. So, intending to write the man a ticket, he approached and asked for identification. The 66-year-old guy introduced himself as Michael Myers and said that he had lived in Alameda County his whole life, but he had no identification to present to the cop.

Swalwell was going to discover a lot more about this panhandling vagabond once the discussion took an unexpected turn. Despite his intention to issue a ticket, the cop was forced to order Michael, also known as “Mick,” into his cruiser. He quickly got to know him and realized that a citation is not what this man needs, Swalwell added.

Mick, a former truck driver, was paralyzed after a horrific accident. He spent a year in a wheelchair and another on crutches after injuring his back. He could no longer drive a truck, yet he attempted to return to work. He tried manufacturing first, then food service, but being on his feet and lifting hurt too much. Mick said that when one has a serious broken back injury, one never really heals from it.

Mick became used to panhandling at major city intersections in order to live. He collected five to ten bucks as he walked around the crossroads, just enough for supper. Then he went to a nearby McDonald’s or Wendy’s and spent the money on food. He does it three times a day, stated Swalwell. He’s not panhandling for alcohol or drugs; he’s panhandling to stay alive.

Swalwell asked Mick one simple question after seeing that asking for money and consuming fast food had become part of Mick’s everyday routine. The response altered both of their lives. “‘What will it take to get you off the street?'” ‘Well, a government check would do it, but I can’t seem to obtain one,’ I added, remembering my talk with the police.

Mick required a state-issued ID to get assistance, and Swalwell knew he didn’t have one. Mick hadn’t had an ID in years—not since he stopped driving a truck. Fortunately, Swalwell understood what to do. He drove Mick to the DMV after asking him to get in his cruiser, but they ran into another problem.

He doesn’t exist anymore, Mick said after learning the devastating news from the Department of Motor Vehicles. He is no longer registered in the system. The guy didn’t exist, according to the DMV, which created a fresh hurdle in getting Mick off the streets. Fortunately, the good-natured constable was unfazed.

Mick required evidence of domicile and a birth certificate to receive a California ID, which are difficult to get while living on the streets. Furthermore, Mick never met his biological parents. Swalwell, on the other hand, was not giving up.

They obtained a copy of Mick’s birth certificate from Highland Hospital, where he was born, after receiving a letter from a church attesting to his residence in Hayward. That letter was unexpected. He gets his birth certificate, and it says his full name is Gordon Michael Myers! Mick reflected, still taken aback by the first name he had no idea he possessed.

After three visits to the DMV, California eventually awarded Gordon Michael Myers a Senior Citizen ID, which he proudly displayed for a photo with Deputy Swalwell. The picture was shared on Facebook, where it quickly went viral as the cop was lauded for going above and beyond and never giving up despite the two men’s difficulties.

The man on the left is Michael Myers, a 67 year old panhandler. That’s Deputy Jacob Swalwell standing next to him. He’s…

Posted by Alameda County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday, 26 December 2017

He walked into McDonald’s to eat breakfast, and the guys he usually sits with went, ‘Hey, you’re famous, man!’ and whipped out his phone, and there he is on his phone, explained Mick, who was finally one step closer to receiving the social security benefits he desperately required and deserved after years of hard work behind the wheel of his truck.

Mick is not the only one who has benefited from the tragedy. It has taught him to get to know people better, added Swalwell. According to Sgt. Ray Kelly, “I think we’re going to bring it to all our trainings and say, ‘Hey, if you have the ability to do something like this, let’s go ahead and do it.'”

We hope that when other police hear Mick’s tale, they will follow Swalwell’s example. However, the deputy’s generosity did not require you to be a police officer. All everyone needs to do is remember the six things Mick said about Swalwell and emulate him when given the chance. “He treated me like I was a friend,” Mick said. A little act like this may transform someone’s life.

CHAPTER II: Michael “Mick” Myers We first told you about Mick during the holiday season and we wanted to give you an…

Posted by Alameda County Sheriff's Office on Thursday, 15 March 2018

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