When a Florida deputy noticed a man standing behind him as he pumped gas into his police cruiser on July 10, he thought he was in serious danger.
David Causey of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office admitted that he wasn’t paying very close attention to his surroundings when suddenly he felt the man’s presence over his shoulder. His first thought was that he might be the victim of a set up.
“Uh oh, what is this? Is this a set up?” Causey recalled thinking in an interview with WOFL. “I started scanning around, looking around for who else might be looking, thinking, ‘Is this a threat? What’s going on?'”
But Causey was not in any danger. In fact, the stranger was reportedly protecting him from any potential set up or threat.
“He had an intense look on everybody,” Causey said. “I realized, ‘He’s guarding me.'”
After thanking the man, Causey continued patrolling, but he wasn’t satisfied. He was determined to identify the man, and so he enlisted the help of his friends on Facebook.
“I needed to find out who this guy was, because I needed to tell him more than thank you,” Causey said.
It didn’t take long before someone identified the mystery man as Casey DeLoach, a 73-year-old former military police officer in the Army.
DeLoach said he began looking out for police officers after the shocking murder of Texas deputy Darren Goforth in 2015. Goforth was returning to his car after pumping gas when he was shot dead from behind by a lone gunman, who was later identified as Shannon Miles, according to CNN.
“Because of that shooting, and because of the unrest that we’re seeing, it just makes me feel better knowing that we’re protecting the people that are protecting us,” DeLoach told WOFL.
Causey said he is still trying to process how another person could be so selfless.
“He doesn’t know me, I’ve never met this guy before, and now he’s willing to stand there and protect me,” he said. “This guy [is] willing to put his life in danger for a complete stranger.”
And Causey is not the only law enforcement officer who found DeRoach’s actions inspiring.
“Different law enforcement individuals are contacting me saying that it is starting to renew their hope that society is not as bad as it has been portrayed to be here recently,” Causey said.
As for DeLoach, he said he was simply doing what comes naturally to him.
“It was just a normal thing to do,” he said.
Photo Credit: WOFL