N.C. cop pulls over speeding mom, offers ride after learning her house was on fire

The officer, whose home was destroyed by a fire as a child just before the holidays, empathized with the woman's life-changing event

By Ashley Silver

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — A North Carolina woman was driving to work when she received a life-changing call: her house was on fire. And as she sped back toward her home, an officer was placed in her path with what she believes was divine intervention.

ABC 11 News reported that Maiden Police Department officer Jesse Freeman initially stopped Latishea Elmore, a single mother of four, for driving 65 mph in a 35 mph speed limit area. She explained to the officer that she had received a call that her house was on fire. To add to her worry, Elmore didn't have her license with her at the time.

"I just knew it was over for me," she told WSOC. "I'm like, they are not going to believe me. They probably think I'm making up something to not go to jail."

Freeman had the opposite reaction. He empathized with Elmore because he had experienced what it was like to lose everything in a house fire. Freeman had lost his home to a fire as a child right before the holidays and his sergeant with him also had his house burn down last year, according to the report.

Freeman offered to drive Elmore home and kept her calm as she prepared for the worst: "I could just see in her eyes that something just wasn't right," he recalled.

Elmore lost everything in the fire, but she said Freeman helped her deal with the loss. "He just let me know that everything was going to be OK. If there were more police officers out there like him the world would be a better place," Elmore said. 

Elmore and Freeman recently reunited and immediately embraced each other with a hug. His small act of empathy, Elmore said, will always stick with her.

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