Published on Sunday, March 13, 2005
in the St. Petersburg Times
There are some VERY good people around and I would like to tell you about two that, though the circumstances were upsetting, I was fortunate to meet March 8.
I broke down on the Suncoast Parkway, around Exit 27, at 8 a.m., on my way to a briefing on Victim Compensation in Clearwater. I never made it.
I saw a state trooper car go by and was sure he had "other things to do," so I sat back in my car and waited. I had accidentally left my cell phone at home so I couldn't call anyone.
A few minutes later I saw a Florida Highway Patrol car heading north. I was heading south. He used a cutaway to come to where I was stopped.
Trooper Hypes came out of his car, apologizing that he had to go further to turn around, that the grass was too wet after the rain to chance getting stuck, and he was sure I thought he had just passed me up.
Yes, the thought crossed my mind.
He asked if he could call someone for me and he called my husband. We talked a bit. Then he called the trooper on duty (Wagner) on the Suncoast. Trooper Hypes was heading to Tampa. He waited until Trooper Wagner got there, explained the situation and asked him if he would take me to the trooper station so I wouldn't be on the freeway!
Trooper Wagner readily agreed and we went our separate ways. Wagner was every bit as accommodating, empathetic and nice as Trooper Hypes.
We went to the station, shared some stories about his dog and pictures of his children and alligators (another story) and about him being on the force. He didn't say it in so many words, but he is obviously dedicated and touched by the scenes he has had to respond to.
This is not the end of the story.
I got a call from my husband this morning telling me Trooper Hypes had called to make sure I was OKAY!!!
He had come by later in the day and saw that the car was gone. How thoughtful was that? In my opinion, VERY, and way above and beyond his duties.
To sum this up, I want to not only thank troopers Hypes and Wagner but to remind folks how important our law enforcement officers are and that they deserve our respect, assistance when needed, and to be remembered in our prayers for their safety.
I am very proud to have met both these gentlemen and thank them for not only helping but turning an otherwise unpleasant situation into a pleasant encounter!
Cynthia Holden – Founder of the Center for Victim Rights