Trooper Luke Bonin was captured in a photo by a passer-by dressed in a suit and perched on the tailgate of his cruise as he dug into a fast-food meal with a homeless woman. The Massachusetts State Police said that the trooper had just left court when he drove by the woman.
Down on her luck, Bonin, 35, continued to drive to a local establishment where he ordered two meals, ABC News reports. “He returned to the woman, pulled up, and exited his cruiser. Thinking he was there to remove her from the side of the road, she immediately stated to him that she would leave, that she knew she shouldn’t be there with her sign. But Trooper Bonin told her, “I’m not here to kick you out.” He then extended the two meals and told her to pick one,” the post reads.
Trooper Luke Bonin later told his colleagues he saw the woman asking for help, so he drove to a nearby restaurant, ordered two meals and returned to have lunch with her. State police say they’re proud of Bonin for “doing the right thing.”
“Yes, Trooper Bonin, we know you do not want or expect publicity. We know you didn’t want to be noticed, but you were, and the job is proud of you. We commend you for your selfless act, and for ‘doing the right thing’ for someone less fortunate than most people,” the Huffington Post reported about Trooper Luke Bonin.
The panhandler has been identified as Lynn Murphy, a mother of four. Murphy, fearing she would be cited for panhandling, told the trooper she would leave. Instead, Trooper Luke Bonin pulled out two meals and told her to pick one.
“I thought he was just going to hand me the meal but when he said, ‘Come around the back, it’s such a beautiful day, we’ll have a picnic,’ I thought that was, it touched my heart,” Murphy said of Trooper Luke Bonin. As the two were enjoying their meal and chatting, Jake Morse drove by and took a picture of Trooper Luke Bonin eating his meal at the scene, posting it to a Facebook group in Fall River with the caption, “And they say chivalry is dead… Much respect.”
“He just stopped, could have given her a hard time, and didn’t. And, we need that,” Morse said. It’s not everyday you see a police officer sitting on his tailgate sharing a fast food meal with the hungry citizen.
WMUR said authorities tracked down Morse and were able to identify Trooper Luke Bonin. They then reposted the photo of Trooper Luke Bonin, which has since received more than 70 thousand likes.