Advancing National Service

When a Veteran’s Wheels Stopped Turning, These Police Officers Got Him Moving Again

June 6, 2014
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When a Veteran’s Wheels Stopped Turning, These Police Officers Got Him Moving Again
San Diego police officers Eric Cooper and Milo Shields were out on patrol when they saw a stalled scooter. A fellow officer was there to record their effort to get the man home. San Diego Police Department
Gilbert Larocque made it home, despite a broken-down scooter.

Pushing a non-functioning 300-pound motorized scooter an entire mile doesn’t sound like the easiest task. In fact, it sounds downright quite difficult.

Yet that’s just what some San Diego police officers did Memorial Day weekend.

Officers Eric Cooper and Milo Shields were out on patrol Sunday afternoon when they spotted a man on a scooter that had stopped working.

The stranded scooter driver, 67-year-old Gilbert Larocque, is a veteran disabled from injuries he sustained in combat as a door gunner in the Army during Vietnam. As a result, he relies on the vehicle to get wherever he needs to go.

Once the officers determined the scooter’s battery was dead, they considered driving Larocque to his home in the Hickman Field Trailer Park a mile away — but then he’d be stuck without his wheels.

So the officers decided to push Larocque home on his scooter, as you see in this video. “We thought it was going to be like pushing a shopping cart, but we were fighting against the transmission the whole time,” Cooper told Lyndsay Winkley of U-T San Diego.

“Being a veteran myself, I was gracious for his service to our country. The least I could do was push him,” Shields told Monica Garske of NBC San Diego.

“We think about veterans one day a year. We should think about them more,” Shields said.

Still, the officers are confident that it doesn’t take a cop to help out a citizen. “I have no doubt that other citizens of San Diego would have stepped in and done it if we had not,” Cooper said.

MORE: This Nonprofit is Making Sure Kids of Fallen Heroes Can Go To College

 

 

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