You know you’ve done something wrong when you see blue and red lights flashing behind you. For a mom in South Carolina, she didn’t know she was speeding until a police officer pulled her over. When she told him the reason for speeding, he handed her a warning, rather than a ticket. What he wrote on it, however, made her “tear up.”
Ayla Hemeon, of Georgetown, was having a busy day on Oct. 25, 2015. “It was Sunday afternoon and I had spent the morning getting the house cleaned up,” Hemeon, 42, told ABC News.
“It had been a hectic weekend. My daughter and I carved a pumpkin for my parents and she had so much homework to finish up. Around 3 p.m. we got in the car to take the pumpkin to my parents house and I wanted to hurry to drop it off to get back home so she could finish up her stuff for school.”
When she drove onto the main road, she saw police lights flashing in her mirror.
“The police officer came to my car and told me he was stopping me for speeding and asked if there was any lawful reason for me speeding,” she recalled. “I told him the story about how I was trying to hurry to my parents so we could [sic] back home quickly.”
After listening to her story, he didn’t say a word and returned to his car.
“He was very serious,” Hemeon recounted. “He goes back to his car and is in there for what feels like an eternity. But then he comes back and hands me what I thought was a ticket.”
But when he came back, she was surprised to see what he actually handed her.
“He said, ‘This is just a warning. It’s not a ticket. You don’t have to do anything with this, but there’s a message on the bottom of the ticket for you,’” Hemeon said.
The officer wrote: “Thanks for all that you do. You could have spent Sunday alone but, you’re spending it helping your parents and daughter. Have a good day.”
“I can honestly say it made me tear up. This officer made my day,” Hemeon wrote on her Facebook page.
The officer, Sergeant Steven Church, told WPDE of his decision to write a message for Hemeon, instead of giving her a ticket.
“You could tell that she was having a tough week. Just because something goes wrong, doesn’t define them,” Church explained. “With so much going on in our county and our state in the last couple weeks, a lot of people are worn out, they’re exhausted. Even through all this and it’s affected everybody, she was still spending her time helping others.”
“The thing that really struck me is here he is telling me I’m setting a good example for my daughter, and yet, he is the one that’s really setting the good example,” Hemeon said of Church’s actions.
As to whether Hemeon would speed again, she said, “I actually want to make sure that I don’t speed to do him right, to prove him right that he did the right thing.”