This is what the true meaning of Serve and Protect really means. Whats on the sarges mind is awarding this officer the Merit ribbon.
It was cold, wet and gray in Winston-Salem, N.C., when Police Officer Charlie Ziegler noticed a woman pushing a stroller in the rain.
“I went up to her and said, ‘Get in the car, there’s no reason for you or your baby to be out here,’” Ziegler told ABC News.
Ziegler’s act of chivalry last Tuesday was photographed by a passer-by and posted on Facebook and the officer has been surprised by how popular the photo has become on the internet since, to him, it was a normal act of kindness.
“You see someone and you just help them,” he said.
The woman and her child had only three blocks left before reaching her destination, a daycare center where she works, but Ziegler wanted to get them out of the icy rain.
Ziegler joined the police department four years ago.
“It was one of those, either do it or stop talking about it kind of moments. Right around when the economy went completely down. So I applied and here I am,” said Ziegler.
But the officer doesn’t attribute his good deed to being a policeman. As a husband and father of two young children, Ziegler says even if he was off-duty, he still would have helped the woman.
When off-duty, Ziegler works at First Baptist Church. He said that while providing security there, he often sees the woman who he helped walk by.
Ziegler’s mother-in-law, Donna Johnson, told ABC News that the act was representative of his caring personality.
“He’s just that type of person. Very helpful and outgoing, and he doesn’t want to see anyone in trouble or in need,” said Johnson.
Ziegler’s wife Rachel echoed her mom’s statement. “It’s not a surprising story,” she told ABC News. “It’s very Charlie-esque.”
Rachel Ziegler said she’s surprised by how viral the image has become.
“Last Tuesday I was actually having lunch with him and he told me that someone from the local news had contacted him and it surprised me,” she said. “You would just expect anyone to do that…to save someone from the freezing rain.”