A photo circulating on social media that shows a veteran Chicago police officer buying Chipotle for a homeless man has gone viral, leading to a lengthy Facebook post from the Chicago Police Department thanking the officer for "leading by example."
The photo was originally posted by a woman named Rachel Mitchell, who saw the encounter at the Chipotle restaurant located at 1025 W. Belmont in Lakeview. The Chicago Police Department has since shared the story, and their own post has been shared nearly 4,000 times in just over 12 hours. Additionally, more than 10,000 people "like" the post.
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According to Mitchell, the officer saw the homeless man outside as he sat down to eat his lunch. The officer then asked the man through the glass if he was hungry, and when the man indicated that he was, the officer told him to come in and order whatever he wanted because the officer would pay.
After he paid for the man's meal, the officer shook his hand and the two went their separate ways, Mitchell said.
Chicago Police saw the Facebook post and recognized the officer as Sergeant B. Hagarty, a 35-year veteran of the force. They read the post to Hagarty, who was unaware his photo had been taken, and the officer confirmed that the story was true.
Hagarty told his co-workers that he was taking his lunch break at Chipotle when he saw the man "dumpster diving" outside, which prompted the officer to invite him inside for a hot meal.
"(Hagarty) did not think he had done anything out of the ordinary," the police department message reads. "He did not want to brag about what he had done. As he walked out a young lady approached him and told him that he had made her day. Sergeant Hagarty said thank you and walked out."
The police department noted that after 35 years, Hagarty plans to retire by the end of this year, adding that he "will be missed."
"Sergeant Hagarty, we thank you for leading the Chicago Police Department by example," the message reads.