HAYDEN, Idaho – Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputy is being praised for a small act of kindness.
Deputy Matthew Brakeman pulled over a woman in Hayden who was speeding a couple weeks ago, but instead of giving her a ticket he offered up something else. Brakeman said the woman was going about 10 miles over the speed limit.
"Driver was not happy to be stopped. So I spoke to her for a moment," said Brakeman.
When he started talking to the driver he could tell something was different. In the passenger's seat was the driver's mother.
"I asked where they were headed. And she said to the oncologist. She then started to become a little bit emotional," said Brakeman.
He learned the driver's mother had been battling cancer. They were on their way to another painful trip to the doctor's office. Brakeman went back to his patrol car to collect his thoughts. He knew something more powerful than a ticket was needed here.
"And then walked back up to the passenger side and asked her mother if she would accept a prayer. And she said, "Absolutely." So then we prayed and told them to have a good day and went back to my car," Brakeman explained.
Brakeman said he has not had any contact with the woman since, but his kindness did not go unnoticed. The woman took to the department's Facebook page writing in part, "Needless to say, I emotionally lost it. I don't know the officer's name that stopped me, but I want to thank him for his blessings and for hope."
It is clear Brakeman did not do this for a thank you. His reason runs much deeper.
"I lost my mom to cancer, and I know the feeling," he said.
A feeling that brought together, even for just a few minutes, this Kootenai County Deputy, a woman he pulled over, and her mother fighting cancer. A feeling that did not need to be fixed with a speeding ticket.
"There's a letter of the law and there's the spirit of the law. These particular folks, I don't think they were violating the spirit of the law, they were violating the letter," Brakeman explained. "I think they needed some love, and we all do."