Transit police officer buys shoes for barefoot passenger

AP News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2015 2:45 PM

LINDENWOLD, N.J. (AP) — A transit police officer reached for his wallet instead of his ticket book when a bus driver told him a disruptive passenger was not wearing shoes.

Officer Kenya Joyner was on patrol Saturday afternoon when he was flagged down by a driver at the PATCO High Speed Line station in Lindenwold, New Jersey. Joyner recognized the man, who looks to be in his 50s, after seeing him lying on a nearby bench earlier that day.

He escorted the man from the bus because passengers are required to wear shoes. The man reluctantly told him he did not have any, Joyner told The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday.

"It was cold Saturday," Joyner said. "I asked him 'what size shoe do you wear?'"

The officer walked across the street to a Payless shoe store, and bought the man a pair of size 12-13 boots that cost between $40 and $50.

"I just felt like the gentlemen simply was on hard times. He wanted to ride on the bus but he couldn't afford shoes, there was no need for me to arrest him for that," Joyner, of Wilmington, Delaware, told KYW-TV.

John Hanson, CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority, which manages PATCO, said the act of kindness serves as an example for everybody.

Kayla Palmer of Pine Hill, New Jersey, saw what was happening and videotaped the exchange. The video received about 17,000 likes by Tuesday.

"I need to film this because you see all these negative stories about police in the news these days," Palmer said. "You don't really see anything positive."

Joyner said he knows many other officers who have acted similarly, and that the only difference was that he was filmed.

"Most officers have no problem being the way I am," he said.