A woman who stole a few items from a Whole Foods buffet Thursday was moved to tears after the three NYPD officers who could have taken her to jail decided to pay for her goods instead.
NYPD Lieutenant Louis Sojo, Officer Michael Rivera and Officer Esnidy Cuevas, who were on a Fourth of July detail in Manhattan, said they first noticed the woman when security stopped her near the exit of the Union Square store.
“[We asked] what’s going on?” Sojo said during a press conference Friday outside the NYPD Strategic Response Group in the Bronx, where the officers are based.
The woman, whose name is not known to the officers, had stuffed a container filled with hot buffet items into her bag, saying that she was hungry but had no money. In an act of holiday kindness, Sojo and the two cops walked the woman to the cash register where all three chipped in a total of about $30 for the eats.
“At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal, [but] she was extremely emotional,” said 47-year-old Sojo, who has 22 years on the job. “She was shocked we did something like that.”
Word of the officer’s actions spread after Whole Foods shopper Paul Bozymowski, 46, gave the cops a shoutout on Twitter.
“As I was walking in…it was obvious something was happening,” the Manhattan resident said. “The security guard had actually called [the officers] over as she was opening her bag. Then, almost without hesitation, one of them said, ‘C’mon, I’ll buy your food.’”
“She seemed confused at first, like she didn’t know what was going to happen. But when she realized they were buying her the food, she cried as if she was overwhelmed with gratitude,“added Bozymowski, who also tweeted a picture of the moment. “I was genuinely moved by the act of generosity and [I thought] I should document this.”
The officers said they were humbled by the praise they received for the good deed.
That was incredibly kind.
This woman was being held by security.
She had food in her bag she didn’t pay for.
When the NYPD showed up, they paid for her food.
— paul bozymowski (@pboz) July 4, 2019