Last week, Chicago officer Sgt. B. Hagarty popped by a Chipotle in the city's Lakeview neighborhood for lunch. While there, he performed a subtle, deeply heartwarming act of kindness that endeared him to many on social media.
Noticing a homeless man rummaging through trash bins nearby, Hagarty motioned for the man to come over and invited the man inside.
Though the officer didn't expect anyone to be watching the interaction, a Chipotle customer, Rachel Mitchell, did. She posted what she saw on Facebook:
So today I saw something that made my day. This Chicago Police officer was sitting at a window seat at Chipotle, outside the window he saw a homeless man digging through the trash. The cop knocked on the window, getting the homeless man's attention. Through the glass he asked the man if he was hungry. The man nodded yes, and the cop motioned for him to come inside. The cop told him to set what belongings he had next to him and told him to order what he wanted because he would pay for it. They stood in line together and at the end the cop paid for the man's meal. A simple hand shake was exchanged between them and they parted ways like it was no big deal.
Mitchell's Facebook post was picked up by the Chicago Police Department on Facebook.
The Chicago PD later identified Hagarty as the officer in the photos, who reluctantly admitted that he knew he was all over social media because some of his friends told him about it.
Hagarty told the Chicago PD that he was just finishing up his lunch break and didn't expect anyone to capture the moment. He also wasn't aware that the story blew up on Facebook. A lifelong Chicagoan who has spent 35 years on the force, Hagarty is set to retire by the end of the year.
Though he said that doesn't think he did anything out of the ordinary, it is simple acts of kindness like these that remind us that there are caring, compassionate people out there, and that a sweeping generalization of an entire group can sometimes be proven wrong.