A police officer from Arkansas went above and beyond the call of duty when he encountered a struggling college student last month.
While driving home a few weeks ago, Jonesboro police officer John Shipman said he passed a young man walking on the shoulder of the road alone in the dead of night.
"It was 2:15 in the morning," Shipman said. "I looked down, and it was 19 degrees."
Surprised by the unaccompanied man, Shipman pulled over to the side of the road to offer Arkansas State University student James Taylor a ride home. Taylor, a sophomore pre-pharmacy student, said he was taking his usual route home, a four-mile walk from his late-shift job at McDonald’s, when Shipman approached him.
While talking in the car, Shipman learned Taylor did not have a car, but walks to work and school everyday regardless of weather or time of day.
"I asked him, 'So you went to work tonight knowing that you didn't have a ride home and that it was going to be freezing?' and he said, 'Yes, sir,'" Shipman said. "He says, 'I have to; I don't have any other choice.'"
Shipman set up a GoFundMe account for Taylor. The target goal of $1,400 would help pay for a car so Taylor could drive home from his late shift at work, Shipman said. Shipman added that he decided to set up the GoFundMe page because he felt inspired by Taylor’s dedication to his schoolwork and job.
Community members have raised about $7,150 since Shipman created the page on Feb. 20.
"The community's response to this has just humbled me," Shipman said.
The pair found a car for Taylor, but now must work towards getting the student his license.
Taylor said he felt blessed by the kindness given to him by Shipman and the community.
"These kind of people you don't meet every day," Taylor said. "Officer Shipman, he was an amazing guy."