From: Barbara Richardson
Received: Feb. 20
On Feb. 19 after dropping my sons off at scouts, my grown daughter and I saw a young couple walking on the side of the road and pulled over to offer them a ride, as it was 25 degrees out and windy. They had on only jackets, and it was becoming dark out.
I had pulled off the road safely, and my daughter asked the couple if they would like a ride. The young man was so pleased and said energetically that he did not know there were still such nice people in the world. They both were very happy to be thought of. They declined the ride as they were nearly to their destination.
As I was readying to pull back onto the road, a police officer pulled beside me and asked if everything was OK. That was nice of this young man to be so kind to me. I said everything was fine. I then explained my concern for the couple in the cold and that I had just offered them a ride.
He responded with a gruff, “That’s a good way to get robbed.” I stared at him and literally bit my lip to not say what was on my mind. (This letter is allowing just that.) I am 50 years old and know picking up hitchhikers is not safe. These people were walking beside a shopping center in Columbus. They were not hitchhikers.
The officer continued to repeat himself, saying, “It is not safe EVEN IN COLUMBUS. You are not in trouble, but it is a good way to get robbed.” He then asked if I had anyone in my van whom I had not started out with, which I thought was irrelevant.
With due respect, I do appreciate the officer trying to protect me. The officer did what was right, to serve and protect, yet he could have done so with a bit more tact.
I have often given people rides in our community, and I am cautious. I not only do not get robbed, I feel I benefit. It is a small gesture that I would like done for me or a family member.
I do have a concealed carry permit and could protect myself if needed, though I rarely have a weapon on me, nor feel the need for one. Yes, “even in Columbus.”
Any would-be robbers out there? Here is a great tip: Go out walking in 25 degrees in the wind at Beam Road and National in Columbus on Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. and wait for the lady in the gold minivan.
Happy to live in one wonderful town.