ODESSA, Texas — A police officer in a small Texas town forged a friendship with a homeless man he met outside of a convenience store in May. Then, he surprised him with a gift he’d never been given — a birthday party.
Odessa police Cpl. Roland Heyne met 37-year-old transient Anthony Ramsey during the stops he made at the store during his shifts. On Saturday, the officer threw Ramsey a party the homeless man said he will never forget.
Heyne and his wife bought presents and baked a cake for the man.
“If anybody deserves to have something given back on their birthday it’s Anthony,” Heyne said, CBS 7 in Midland, Texas, reported.
Heyne also said he’s witnessed Ramsey’s kindness to strangers and his generosity despite owning just a few possessions.
“Anthony, everything he owns is pretty much what you see on him right now. It’s what he’s wearing, it’s what he’s carrying with him and at the end of the night he has to sleep on the ground,” said Heyne, who brought decorations to Ramsey’s party.
Ramsey said he was left in awe by the surprise party.
“I can’t believe it, everybody that’s done this for me, surprised me, and you know, I never had this done before,” he said. “I appreciate the people who did this for me and really care about me.”
Ramsey has nailed down a few side jobs but hasn’t found a full-time position. The officer’s family has set up a PayPal account to help Ramsey as he tries to get back on his feet.
Not surprisingly, Heyne was honored in 2016 for being “a very compassionate officer when it comes to assisting citizens with various problems,” according to the Odessa Police Department.