Customer Takes Officer's Photo After Encounter At McDonald's
Marilyn Caylor 2/1/2017
When Officer Jonathan Mcleod pulled over a car in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in Hayward, Illinois, he was hoping that no one was paying attention to him. That's because he was about to act outside of the legal boundaries of the law.
While waiting to order food at McDonald's, a man saw a mother and her two kids standing next to another man. When he realized what was happening he grabbed his camera and quickly took a picture.
Jonathan wasn't going to tell anyone about what he'd done, but then the picture went viral. Since he was caught red-handed, the cop had no choice but to fess up and admit that he broke the law.
As a law enforcement officer, Jonathan is expected to uphold the law at all times. But, sometimes human nature gets in the way.
Recently, he made what he thought was going to be a routine traffic stop. When Jonathan flicked on his police cruiser's flashing lights, the woman driving the car in front of him dutifully pulled over - straight into the parking lot of a McDonald's!
As soon as Jonathan approached the vehicle and took a peek through the windows, his cop instincts kicked in and told him something wasn't quite right. The officer could see two small children in the back seat, and there was an unusual amount of personal belongings strewn about.
The woman was scared, and admitted that she had done something illegal.
The unnamed mother told Jonathan that she knew she was driving with a suspended license, but she had no choice. They were homeless, and the car was her family's lifeline. She used it to drive them from shelter to shelter, where they could all sleep safely during the night.
The officer could have towed her car away and sent her straight to jail. In fact, that was the law. Instead, Jonathan took the high road:
"I asked her if the kids had eaten or anything, and she said no. That's when I said, 'Hey we're already here, let's go inside and get you something to eat.'"
Jonathan didn't know it at the time, but an anonymous man inside the McDonald's took notice of the scene unfolding right before his very eyes. He was moved by the kind act, and offered to help Jonathan pay for the family's meal, but the officer politely declined.
As a gesture of goodwill, Jonathan decided not to issue the woman a ticket. He knew it would make their situation much worse! Instead, the officer quickly paid for the meal with his ATM card, and then left the woman and her kids to eat a very "happy meal" in peace.
However, the man who took the viral photo informed the Hayward Police Department of Jonathan's "good cop" deed of the day. Sgt. Ryan Cantrell had this to say of the Good Samaritan:
"The impact that one encounter has, that one moment that Officer Mcleod had with that lady is going to resonate for the rest of her life and her children, too."
When asked if he had told anyone about his secret good deed, Jonathan said that he hadn't. One doesn't need to be enticed with fame and glory to help those in need.