Everyday Angels

CMPD officer helps ‘little old lady’ find her way

CMPD Sgt. Jeff Sterrett helped an elderly Charlotte woman who got turned around in Ballantyne find her doctor’s office.
CMPD Sgt. Jeff Sterrett helped an elderly Charlotte woman who got turned around in Ballantyne find her doctor’s office. CMPD

I recently moved into a retirement home. I had made a doctor’s appointment in Ballantyne and was vaguely familiar with the area, but still left in plenty of time, I thought, to find the doctor’s office with time to spare.

My Toyota isn’t equipped with GPS, but I felt sure I could find the address. My son and daughter-in-law offered to take me. But, no – I wanted to maintain my independence and show them I still have what it takes.

I went through Ballantyne and without realizing it, almost ended up in South Carolina. I began to panic and soon found a place to turn around. I was desperate to make my appointment on time. I didn’t have much time.

I stopped at a red light, and as I glanced in the mirror, I saw a police car pull up behind me. I tried to signal him that I needed help, but I didn’t think the officer noticed. I turned at the light, hoping to find a phone and call the doctor’s office. Where was my cellphone when I needed it?

My heart began to beat faster when I noticed the police car had followed me into the gas station. I got out of my car and told the officer I was lost and needed to get to an appointment in 10 minutes. He said he felt I was in trouble of some kind, so he followed me to see if he could help. (How could he be so intuitive?)

He offered to call my doctor’s office and give the receptionist my name and tell her I would be a few minutes late. Then, he showed me a map and told me how to get there.

I guess he saw panic still written across my brow, because with a warm smile, he told me to hop back in my car and follow him. He promised to help me get there on time.

He took me all the way to the front door of the building. His name is Sgt. Jeff Sterrett, and he’s young enough to be my grandson, I suppose. So polite, so nice and so caring.

So much negative is written about our police officers these days. I wanted to write about the kindness shown to this very senior citizen running late for an appointment. Sgt. Sterrett is my hero.

I wish for him safe journeys through the streets of Charlotte as he continues to do his job and looks out for little old widow ladies who look distressed. God bless you, Jeff. We need more heroes like you.

Eleanor S. Anderson, Matthews

As told to Page Leggett

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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