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Cops do welfare check on “ice cold” elderly woman with no food in the fridge

When Officer Marquis Hines of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Houston, Texas posted a photo of himself and his partner with a 92-year-old woman they were called to check on, the post went viral – for a number of reasons.

Helping a citizen in need

Hines started off his March 5, 2020 Facebook post by explaining:

“Got a welfare check call of a 92 yr old woman, who sometimes walks up and down the road and doesn’t know where she is.

Sometimes forgets her door is open so thinks she is locked out.

Neighbors call and said, she forgets a lot of things and her hands are ice cold to the touch. So they let her warm up in their home.”

The officers went by her home and what she told them gave the men the impression that she had been all-but-abandoned by her family, despite her delicate condition.

“We go by and check, she has 2 sons who just forget about her.

No food in the fridge, only milk and old lemonade. Only eating a bag of Cheerios, place hasn’t been cleaned recently.

All she wanted to know is why her sons don’t bring her food or check on her.

She said she just need a couple sandwiches or something to least not be hungry.”

In some cases, a social services call might be in order, but the officers decided to help her out with her immediate needs.

“Without her knowing, we left and got her some groceries for her home.

Big rotisserie chicken, some sandwich items to last a week or 2, some chunky soups, bunch of chips and meat, some waters.

Knocked on her door and she was all smiles and in disbelief someone actually cared enough about her to even help.”

The post has been shared more than 160k times.

The uproar

Of course, people were sad and angry that an elderly woman would be left in this position.

When Hines started a Facebook fundraiser for the woman known as Ms. Tina, it surpassed its $10,000 goal with 345 people donating to make sure she had food and clothing.

There was a great deal of anger and criticism directed towards her sons as well.

But it turns out not everything Ms. Tina told the officers matched up with their side of the story.

The clarification and apology

On March 12, Officer Hines posted again to Facebook to explain that he didn’t have the full picture when he posted his original message.

First, he thanked everyone who reached out to help the woman and informed readers that social services was, in fact, notified so Ms. Tina could get the real and long-term help she needed.

“I have made contact with APS, who notified me that Ms. Tina has been staying with her family since the post due to her case of Dementia. I was thrilled to here that news and to know she wouldn’t be out in the streets confused or lost.”

Then he apologized for making her sons look like the bad guys in the situation; he had been too quick to judge.

“I want to apologize to the sons for making it seems as if they just left her on her own for good. NOT the case.

I judged based on what Ms. Tina said who tends to forget very very quickly and the living condition of her home.

Her sons are involved in her life like a son should be, but can’t dedicate every minute as they have their own children and jobs also.

I respect the family a lot more after speaking with them and knowing that she will forget a meal she just ate a couple minutes ago.”

He pleaded with people to blame him and not the sons for any misunderstanding.

“So I want to ask everyone to not be so harsh on them and speak badly of them because it was MY fault for judging without the full story.”

And THAT, of course, is what a good officer does.

In an update, he informed everyone that the money would be used to truly help Ms. Tina and her family.

“The money you guys raised out of the caring hearts from everyone has given her a home to stay in and will be properly taken care of.”

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