Officers go above and beyond to help elderly woman in flooded house

When officers responded to a call about a busted water pipe at a home, they not only braved a spewing kitchen water pipe to turn it off, but they also stayed to clean up

By Karen Nelson
The Sun Herald

MOSS POINT, Miss. — Three Moss Point police officers responded to a call for a busted water pipe at the home of an elderly couple early Thursday morning.

It’s not like police officers don’t do that sort of thing as part of their job to help the community. But in this case, they not only braved a spewing kitchen water pipe to turn it off, but they also stayed to clean up the mess.

They were receiving praise on a viral Facebook post on Friday, because what they did was considered above and beyond.

There was 2 inches of water in the kitchen, living room and family room and it was starting to flood the garage. They moved furniture, mopped and swept water, sopped with towels and blankets and hung them out to dry in the yard.

At least one Moss Point employee felt it was deserving of a mention on Facebook and from there, it spread.

The call came in a little after 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

The woman was home alone. Her husband was in the hospital recovering from a recent surgery.

The spewing must have been going on for awhile, shift supervisor Sgt. Lancen Shipman said, because of the amount of water. The house was on Meadow Drive in the east part of town.

The woman woke up home alone and didn’t know what to do.

“She went outside screaming and calling for help and no one responded,” Shipman said, “The neighbor she depends on was out of town, so she called 911.”

Officer Robert Hammac was the first to arrive. He went in and got wet shutting down the water spray. Officer Justin Waltman also responded.


Officers responded to a call this morning for a busted water pipe at the home of an elderly couple. After talking with...

Posted by City of Moss Point Police Department on Thursday, July 12, 2018

When Shipman arrived, the woman was still in her night clothes and still in a panic.

“I just grabbed her and hugged her and told her we were going to take care of it,” Shipman said.

They went to Lowe’s for parts and fixed the plumbing.

“We’ve got it all on body cam,” he said, because it was all in the line of duty.

Chief Brandon Ashley said the woman had no one to turn to and called dispatch.

“They cut the water off, fixed the pipe and cleaned up the mess,” Ashley said. “Most law officers have trades they do off duty, because the pay is not the best, so they do air conditioning, electrical work, carpeting, tile, plumbing. “

These three had skills.

When they were through, there was a yard full of towels and blankets drying. They even set up fans for the floor.

On Facebook on Friday, the post had 1,300 likes, and at the top of the 166 comments:

“Amazing guys!” “What a great deed.” “These are true angels of mercy.”

It was shared 616 times.

“We do this every day,” Shipman said, “Across the nation, officers do it all the time.”

He is second generation law enforcement and said his father taught him the importance of helping in all emergencies.

“He said, ‘If it’s an emergency to them, it’s an emergency,’” Shipman said. “We’re there to help. I’ve fixed a lady’s stove.

“I scared a ghost out of a house,” he said. “I’ve done that.”

©2018 The Sun Herald (Biloxi, Miss.)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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