CARROLLTON, Texas — In the last year, Tommy Smith learned to adapt to his motorized wheelchair. He’s had to rely on it since facing kidney problems. Smith uses the wheelchair to go to the grocery store down the street. It is his main form of transportation.
Recently, Smith’s wheelchair stopped holding the charge. The battery is dying, which leaves him homebound. Not wanting to burden family or friends, Smith ran out of food and went hungry for two days.
He had no choice but to see how far his wheelchair would take him. He attempted to make it to the grocery store.
On the way, he ran into Carrollton Police Officer Brion Vannucci. He said the officer noticed the low-battery light flashing on the wheelchair and asked Smith for his grocery list.
Vannucci was in the middle of training a group of rookie officers. But after work, he bought everything on Smith’s list and dropped it off at his house. “It shocked me. I was really stunned,” said Smith. He calls the officer an angel. The groceries were bought with the Vannucci’s own money, and the officer wanted no recognition for his kindness.
Word spread at Carrollton Police Department about his kind act. The rookie officers say Vannucci is the type of officer they aspire to be. “Officer Vannucci, the person, did this just as much as Officer Vannucci, the police officer, did this,” said rookie Officer Gordon Rainey.
Smith recently found a ride to the Carrollton Police Department to personally deliver a card and thank Vannucci.