A photo of NYPD officers helping an 85-year-old man left shivering outside the front steps of his Manhattan home has touched the hearts of many.
The elderly man, a wheel-bound Navy veteran, told officers Vitaliy Zelikov and Georin Duran, that a medical transportation employee carried him down the stairs when they picked him up for a doctor’s appointment earlier in the day.
But he had to take a taxi home by himself, according to Fox News.
Thr trouble began when he asked the taxi driver for assistance but instead the driver replied “That’s not my job” and drove off.
It’s then when 75 Precinct officers noticed the man by himself in the freezing cold.
“Once we knew he needed to get inside the house, you know, that was the only way we could get him up,” Zelikov told Fox News. “We could carry him up safely, so we did.”
The man told the officers he had served in the Korean War and remembered fondly how he volunteered for the NYPD in the early 1980s.
“He was an absolute gentleman. A really nice guy. He lived in the community his whole life,” Zelikov told Fox News. “The small talk really put a smile on his face.”
The two officers—both veterans themselves—thanked the man for his service and stayed for around 20 minutes to make sure he was safe.
Duran said their new friendship has just gotten started.
“I visited him yesterday,” Duran told Fox News. “We’ll definitely be seeing him.”
The photos of the encounter were posted on the NYPD’s Facebook page on Saturday, Jan. 20. It gained over 3700 reactions at the time of this publication.
The officers are even going the extra mile and have reached out to several companies to estimate the cost of building a wheelchair ramp or lift at his home.
“If we can reach our goal, then we’re going to build that ramp for him,” Duran told Fox News, adding that he plans to create a GoFundMe page soon. “We want to find some way to assist him in and out of his home with more ease.”
Comments praising the officer’s actions came flooding in under the post.
The officers stressed that they were just doing their job.
“I wouldn’t call us heroes. That’s why we’re there — to help people out no matter how minor,” Zelikov told Fox News. “We saw somebody in need and we had to help him out.”