CIRCLEVILLE - A deputy at the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office received an unexpected commendation last week for his efforts to make a difference for a young homeless man.
Deputy Stacey Eitel was honored June 19 for not only taking time to help the young man but also spending his own money to send him on his journey a little better off than when he found him, according to Sheriff Robert Radcliff.
The incident began about 6:30 a.m. June 18 when Eitel was dispatched on the report of a juvenile walking along U.S. Route 23 over the U.S. Route 22 overpass.
Upon arrival, Eitel located a 22-year-old male from Kentucky who was homeless, had no money or other belongings and was soaking wet after attempting to bathe in the Scioto River.
Radcliff said Eitel transported the man to Hardee's and bought him breakfast. He also purchased more food items for him at the nearby Sunoco station and gave him $22 in cash from his own pocket.
Additionally, he transported the man to the Pickaway County Jail for a fresh change of clothing before he continued on his way.
"We keep a supply of donated clothing at the jail for when inmates get released and don't have anything appropriate to wear," Radcliff said. "Everything this kid had was dripping wet, so on top of everything else, Stacey made sure he had some clean clothes to wear when he left."
Radcliff said he learned of the incident the following day and wanted to make sure Eitel was recognized for his efforts.
"He really went above and beyond for this person without any expectation of reimbursement or recognition, just because he wanted to," Radcliff said. "That just shows the kind of person he is, and it reflects well on the entire department."
Eitel said he appreciates the honor but does not feel he deserves any special recognition for simply treating people the way they should be treated.
"That's just the way I was raised," Eitel said. "I've always tried to live a good Christian life, and that's just what you do, you help people. But I don't think I did anything that anyone else wouldn't have done. I was just doing my job."
The internal commendation is awarded to employees who bring honor to the office and set a good example for their fellow deputies, Radcliff said.