Though this deputy and mystery man work in the same building in Birmingham, Alabama, they have never bumped into each other. But on one rainy day during a procession for a fallen police officer in January, they crossed paths. As the somber motorcade passed by, the mystery man was spotted shielding the deputy from the rain, and this touching moment was caught on camera.
On Saturday, Jan. 19, Tiffany Dial, a deputy with the Alabama Sheriff’s Department, in Jefferson County, stood solemnly in the rain on a street while paying her final respects to the fallen Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter.
A week prior on Sunday, Jan. 13, Sgt. Carter was shot to death while on duty trying to arrest two men who were breaking into vehicles, The Officer Down Memorial Page reported.
We stand with our brothers and sisters of the Birmingham Police Deptartment in Alabama for their loss of Sgt. Wytasha Carter. He was shot and@killed on Jan 13 as he and another officer attempted to arrest 2 men who were breaking into vehicles. #FidelisAdMortem pic.twitter.com/2Gwxhd5vdn
— NYPD 52nd Precinct (@NYPD52Pct) January 14, 2019
Dial raised her arm and extended her four fingers to the brim of her hat as Carter’s casket went by.
Speaking to CBS News, Dial, who was representing her shift to salute the fallen officer, said: “It was a tough day for everyone here in Birmingham and Alabama and Jefferson County. It was a tough day.”
“I was representing everybody,” she continued.
We were proud to have Officers Michael Nelson, Will Ratcliffe, Jeff Murphy, Marquese Jackson, Sgt. Cacey O’Farril, and Lt. Brad Flynn attend the funeral service to honor the life Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter. pic.twitter.com/pIaTmgh8Lp
— Helena, AL Police (@HelenaPolice) January 19, 2019
Unbeknownst to Dial, a mystery man was standing a few steps behind her, holding a big umbrella over her head to keep her dry from the downpour as she paid respect.
“I didn’t know he was there. My peripheral vision was cut off with my hat, so I didn’t know anything was there. I was in my moment,” Dial told WBMA-TV.
The man stood there silently, shielding Dial for over 30 minutes without uttering a word to her.
**UPDATE: After being pictured together in the touching photo, Deputy Tiffany Dial and Shawn Allen met for the first…
This heartwarming moment was snapped on camera by several onlookers and later shared on social media, spreading far and wide and making headlines.
Kelley Colarusso, one of the onlookers who also captured the moment, wrote in the comment section of WBMA-TV’s Facebook post: “This was wonderful when I saw it while being in the procession. I got a picture of it too, but it’s not a clear one, but I’m glad I got it. That was a very wonderful thing for him to do.”
Not able to thank him for that day, Dial hoped to meet the man personally to express her gratitude for what he had done.
So, in order to track the man down, WBMA-TV posted the heartwarming photo on their Facebook page, writing: “Do you recognize this man?”
The post then reached the man’s wife, Stephanie Muro Allen, who commented: “That’s my husband Shawn! He is a Deputy District Attorney with Jefferson County and was on call that day.”
Shawn Allen eventually reunited with Dial on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The two hugged each other as they met.
“The procession was just about one of the most powerful kind of emotional displays that I hope I never see again, and I was just really impressed that you were out there paying your respects to Sgt. Carter,” Allen told Dial.
They spoke and realized that they actually worked in the same building.
After being pictured together in a touching photo gone viral, Deputy Tiffany Dial and Shawn Allen met for the first time.https://t.co/SHbXkMYQQa
— ABC 33/40 News (@abc3340) January 24, 2019
Humbled by all the attention he was receiving, Allen said: “My intention was never to get attention. My intention was to pay my respects to Sgt. Carter and to help this deputy who paid her respects to Sgt. Carter.”
“I had an umbrella and she didn’t, and I’d like to think that had she been a deputy saluting, or had she been just a regular person that was standing there paying her respects like I was, that I would have shared the umbrella either way,” Allen, a father of three, told Yahoo! Lifestyle.
As to why Allen didn’t speak to Dial as they stood in the rain that day, he explained: “Out of respect for her gesture to salute the procession as it went by, I didn’t think there was anything that I needed to say to her, and I just wanted to keep her warm and dry for a few minutes.”
It may just be a small act of kindness; however, Allen’s gesture has left a huge impact on Dial.
“It just restores your faith, a little bit,” Dial said. “It meant a lot in ways that you can’t even really put into words. It wasn’t just about keeping the rain off of me for that little bit. It meant a lot more than that.”
The deputy came to the realization that “people do care about us.”
“It’s very uplifting,” Dial said. “It can be very easy to get jaded in this job so it’s nice to see the good in people.”
“I just appreciate what she does for a living, and I appreciate what she was doing on that day, and I just was happy to help somebody who helps people,” Allen said.
Rest in peace, Sgt. Wytasha Carter.
Thank you Deputy Dial and all other brave police officers who put their lives on the line to maintain public safety. And kudos to Allen for showing respect to our law enforcement.
MYSTERY MAN FOUND! After being pictured together in a touching photo gone viral, Deputy Tiffany Dial and Shawn Allen met for the first time. https://bit.ly/2FKrruX
由 ABC 33/40 发布于 2019年1月23日周三
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