When they are on duty, police are usually prepared for just about everything. On their time off, most relax some. Fortunately for Neil and Claudia Cook, off-duty Deputy Willie Finklea still had the composure to save them when he came upon their burning car. How he managed it is incredible.
Mr. Cook says he pulled over the minute he saw smoke coming from the car but it was already too late. The car was on fire and wires had shorted out, leaving the electronic windows and doors locked and the couple trapped. Mr.Cook said he had been trying to break the windows with his cane but just couldn’t.
Deputy Finklea and his wife had been riding past on their motorcycle and stopped to help. He told reporters, “I saw that they were in a dire situation and I just went into action. … I just wanted to get them out of that car.” Since he was on a motorcycle he recalls, “All I had was my keys and my pocket knife so I had no other tools other than my off-duty weapon to make entry into the car. I banged on the window several times with my hand.”
The couple prepared themselves and the deputy carefully shot out the left rear window in the car. Mrs. Cook climbed into the back seat but couldn’t get out of the broken window. So risking his own life, Deputy Finklea crawled into the vehicle and helped her get out. Mr. Cook managed to get out himself.
Moments later, the car became fully engulfed in flames. Deputy Finklea’s department says his quick actions ensured there were no injuries. As for the deputy, he doesn’t believe he was there by accident. He and his wife usually took a different road home from church. “Just being used by God to help someone in their most desperate time that’s a gift for me.”
Source: Blue Lives Matter