Everyday Angels

Cemetery worker, CMPD officer rush to woman’s aid

CMPD Officer Brandon Sykes, who came to the aid of a Charlotte woman after a strange man jumped in her car during a cemetery visit.
CMPD Officer Brandon Sykes, who came to the aid of a Charlotte woman after a strange man jumped in her car during a cemetery visit. Courtesy of CMPD.

Holy Week in the Orthodox faith, as in other faiths, is a time of reflection, prayer and remembrance. After stopping to purchase some flowers for family and friends, I drove to Evergreen Cemetery.

The cemetery typically is a serene setting for those paying respects to loved ones, walkers – just a calm place to take a break. It consistently is patrolled by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Even if you are there alone, it’s not for long.

The day I was there was no different. I had noticed a walker, a worker in the distance and a car that cruised through slowly. Not an unusual scene.

The man cruised through again shortly after I was walking back to the car to get more flowers. He stopped to ask if I knew the location of the funeral of someone. I told him I didn’t and that I was sorry for his loss. He thanked me and then lingered in the car, which gave me an uneasy feeling, so I made my way back to my car to leave.

As I got into my car and before I could hit the lock button, he had opened my passenger door and was getting into my car. I immediately got out and ran across the cemetery toward the worker I had noticed. I was hitting the alarm button on my key and yelling for help the whole way!

Will, a young man doing his work, called the police and stayed with me until the officer arrived. Will thanked Officer Brandon Sykes, the first responder, for his service.

Will was my angel that day and showed such kindness and compassion. I thanked him and told him he was my new best friend! I’m sorry I didn’t get Will’s last name. He is in my daily prayers, and the same goes for Officer Sykes and his fellow responders.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Debbie Stathakis, Charlotte

Share your story

Did a stranger step in to offer you help out of the blue? Email rwilkerson@charlotteobserver.com. Include name, hometown and daytime number. Or mail Everyday Angels, Charlotte Observer, 600 S. Tryon, Charlotte, NC 28230. Roland Wilkerson

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