FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth police officer is getting praise for helping a confused elderly woman with dementia return home.
Frank Garner posted a short clip of the encounter on Facebook. He said on Friday his mother, 76-year-old Gerri Stewart, got a bit confused and started wandering off. She had actually walked several miles before officers found her.
When her son found her, she wouldn’t get in his car. But a Fort Worth officer knew exactly what to do.
Garner said Officer Ryan Bowlen walked with his mother and “wherever she went, he went.”
“That was touching,” he said. “It was showing me the human side of our men and women in blue."
Garner called it a beautiful sight, especially since his mother is black and Officer Bowlen is white.
“This was so touching to me! I battled to fight back the tears as Officer Bowlen eventually made it to my truck,” he said. “Honestly, I could tell that he was doing the same! I support the Fort Worth Police for a million reasons other than this! But stuff like this continues to be my reassurance!”
"I didn't want to disrespect her or make her feel that she didn't know what she was talking about,” Officer Bowlen said. “We talked about life, the things she had going on, a wife of a veteran who recently passed away. It was a very emotional time for her."
Other officers were eventually called in, and Garner said they were just as helpful. He called them heroes for keeping his mother safe and making her smile.
“What she's going through my own grandmother is going through. This is something I'm familiar with,” the officer said. “Sometimes, the best tools we have at our disposal is just to relate, to just talk, connect with people on a personal level."
“If you ever doubt Fort Worth's finest in blue, just contact me and I will tell you of more than a few stories like this that will absolutely make you change your mind,” Garner said.