Police Officer Helps Stranded Driver Get Back on the Road

| Inspiration

An Indiana police officer went above and beyond the call of duty to help a stranded driver after she experienced a flat tire.

Officer Briar Johnston, 25, of the South Bend Police Department tells Womanista he was heading home from the department after completing training and saw a few vehicles stopped at the busy intersection of Lafayette Street, just south of Sample Street.

“I had stopped to make sure everything was all right when Brianna said her tire had flattened,” he said. “I used the manual car jack and jacked up the car and changed her tire.”

Johnston goes on to say he changed it for her because he knew it would only take a few minutes to fix.

“I used to work on vehicles throughout high school, it’s an easy fix,” he said.

While he was changing the tire for Brianna, Johnston says Division Chief Jeff Rynearson showed up and began taking pictures, which were then posted at the department’s Twitter page.

MORE: Police Officer Helps Grant Dying Woman's Last Wish

Though the officer’s gesture of compassion might not have gone viral, community members on several Facebook groups and pages made it a point to express their gratitude to the department and its officers for the random acts of kindness they continuously show their community.

“What made me want to help was the aspect of being able to help someone that seemed as though she needed it,” he said, adding Brianna seemed very grateful for the help.

Johnston, who has been with the department for a year and a half, sees how important community is and says whether on-duty or off, they are each sworn to protect their citizens no matter their stance on support of law enforcement.

“The police departments can’t do what we do without help from our communities,” he said. “It’s important that we keep good working relationships with the citizens. I’ve met some good folks in my short time on South Bend PD.”

Brianna took to her own Twitter shortly after Johnston helped with her car, sharing an image from her Snapchat with the caption, “I am truly thankful for all [your] help! Thanks again!” The image speaks for itself as it shows Johnston and his chief working together to fix her tire.

Twitter Snapchat SBPD
(Photo: Twitter / @EscapinReality)

Johnston says going out of his way for a citizen is something he would definitely do again and says it won’t be long until he does. While there are a million things officers do every day in their towns and cities, he says there’s one reason they go above and beyond even after a shift is over.

“We don’t do what we do for publicity, we do it because we generally care about the folks within our communities,” he said. “And something as small as stopping to assist a citizen can have a huge impact on someone's life, and we hope that’ll be one more supporter for us.”

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Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.