MORRISON – A Whiteside County sheriff’s deputy received a flood of online support for his actions this weekend after a photo hit social media picturing him and an unidentified man at the Morrison McDonald’s.
The man, who reportedly is homeless, was walking east along U.S. Route 30 Saturday toward Morrison when 15-year veteran Deputy George Depuy gave him a lift to the golden arches and bought him a meal.
The photo was uploaded by Alex Fischbach of Morrison (the same local singer who appeared on American Idol), who was at the restaurant with his fiancee. More than 7,000 people have shared it in 2 days.
“This picture is a quick snap of one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen,” Fischbach posted.
The officer walked the man inside, told him it was a good place to stay warm, and then handed him money with instructions to order whatever he pleased, Fischbach said.
The man didn't take the money at first, Fischbach said. “I'm not asking you to take it, I'm telling you to take it,” the deputy said, before going on his way.
“This is really not an uncommon situation,” said Whiteside County Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi, who is “very proud” of Depuy, and of all the deputies.
Depuy doesn’t want attention or recognition because he was just doing his job, but it is “commendable," the sheriff said, adding that officers never do their jobs for the accolades.
They do their jobs "because it is the right thing to do," he said.