A late Social Security deposit had Carolyn May in a tight spot — and even fearing arrest — until a McComb police officer unexpectedly came to her rescue.
She had just filled her car up with $37 worth of gas at a McComb convenience store on Tuesday, and when she went to swipe her card she discovered she was $25 shy.
The Amite County resident learned the hard way that her Social Security check hadn’t cleared her bank account yet, although she said it’s normally there by the 27th of the month. She went inside the store and told the clerk about her situation.
“I said, ‘The only thing you can do is put me in jail,’ ” May said.
The man behind the counter got on the phone, she said.
“I thought he was calling his boss. Well, he was calling the police,” May said.
May found that out a few minutes later when an officer responded to the clerk’s call.
The clerk explained the situation and the officer pulled out his wallet and swiped his own credit card, clearing her balance.
May said she tried to get the officer’s name and badge number, but he covered that up with his hand to preserve his anonymity.
“I asked him what his name was and he said, ‘Ma’am, you don’t need to know that,’ ” she said.
The generosity from a public servant brought tears to May’s eyes as she told the story to a reporter on Wednesday.
“I know policemen don’t make enough money to live themselves, much less give me $25,” she said.
Police Chief Damian Gatlin said officers’ acts of good will are more common than people think.
“More of that stuff happens and people just don’t know it,” he said. “It’s a lot more that goes on than people realize. A lot these people out here, they serve from the heart, honestly.”