FREEPORT, Texas – Police tracked down two people wanted for tampering with several officers’ bills at a diner on New Year’s Eve.
The couple tried to keep it quiet, however, proof popped up on social media and led to an emotional meeting.
Anna and James Grant thought that hugging the officers involved was impossible after what the couple pulled at Sweet T’s diner on New Year’s Eve.
“Stuff like that gets to us,” said Officer Bruce Houston of Freeport Police.
After dinner, the couple saw Freeport PD’s night shift eating.
Anna Grant, a retired Army soldier married to a Marine and whose daughter served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, wanted to hug the officers. Though she feared they would not like it. So she just spoke.
“You could see it in their faces that they appreciated someone just saying thanks because I don’t think they get a whole lot of that,” Grant said.
The Grants paid the group’s bill.
“There’s a lot of hatred towards law enforcement unfortunately,” said James Grant.
On the receipt, the Grants blotted out their names and wrote “Happy New Year” hoping to spread cheer in secret.
“I guess I was hoping that they’d feel a little bit of love (and) a whole lot of respect because they deserve it,” Anna said.
The officers begged Chief Ray Garivey to share it on Facebook.
“They wanted it to be known to our community and to those on social media that, hey, law enforcement still has friends,” Garivey said.
His officers know how to track people down too. When they found the Grants and met them, they all hugged.
“It’s nice to see someone appreciate what we do,” Officer Houston said. “(The Grants) went out of their way to make us feel welcome and warm that day. We enjoyed it.”
The impact of that act lasted longer than the officers’ next roll call. It made their happy new year possible, Chief Garivey said.
“They go out there excited that someone paid their tab without wanting to leave their name,” he added. “It reflects in their work.”