It’s something every driver dreads: getting pulled over the police and getting handed a ticket.
Nobody likes to have to pay these fines, which can cost hundreds of dollars, and it seems like everyone has their own method for trying to wiggle out of them, from fighting it in court to good ol’ fashion flirting.
But one man managed to convince a highway trooper to rip up his ticket right there on the spot—and the reason will leave you inspired.
Back in 2015, Mike Powers was having a difficult morning. He was ordered to drive from Nashville, Tennessee to Mississippi for work, and was running short on time.
“My day was stressful because I was trying to get somewhere I didn’t think I’d make it to,” he told WJTV.
This ultimately led him to go over the speed limit—and sure enough, soon he was pulled over by Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Ales.
Ales made out the speeding ticket—a hefty penalty of nearly $200.
But while most people would be annoyed, Powers didn’t feel any animosity towards the officer—on the contrary. Perhaps it was a recent spate of police killings going on, or just because he could see the stress of the job.
“I just had a feeling I needed to ask him how his day was going,” he explained. “I said how are you and how are the officers in Mississippi doing in light of all the senseless killings of police officers?”
“He said he’s doing good and it’s tough and he was going to keep doing what he needed to do to help people.”
Powers’ kindness meant a lot to the trooper.
“With the stuff that’s going on with officers, that right there was so positive we needed that,” Ales told WJTV. “I needed that.”
But that wasn’t all. Even after Ales had given him the ticket, Powers wanted to give him something in return: a wooden saint bracelet, to protect him on the job.
Powers explained that he gave him the gift because, while he was having a stressful day, he knew Ales had it much worse.
“That [stress] was nothing compared to what he deals with on a daily basis; the stress that he probably has to deal with [is] not knowing if he’s going to make it back home.”
Ales was stunned by the thoughtful gift.
“I gave this man a ticket now worth maybe two hundred something dollars, but still out of his kindness he wanted to give me something,” he said.
“I was so touched by it I almost teared up there.”
He was so moved that, even though he had already written out the ticket for Powers, he decided to call the whole thing off and ripped up the ticket.
But while most people would’ve been thrilled to not have to pay the $200, Powers decided to pay it forward and donated the same amount to Palmer Home for Children in North Mississippi.
The two men parted ways, but Ales kept the bracelet in his patrol car, hanging overhead on his camera.