Good Samaritans: Lowe’s employee and CPD go above and beyond to aid stranded Rock the South fan

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Cullman Police Department

Lowe’s Associate Jeremy McKenzie works on a stranded RTS fan’s electric wheelchair.

 

CULLMAN – Much has been said about the problems that the rain caused at Rock the South (RTS) and area businesses Saturday, but in at least one case the minor disaster created an opportunity for some local folks to put their best feet forward.

Cullman Police Department (CPD) Chief Kenny Culpepper noted that local businesses were pushed beyond capacity during the rain delay at RTS, and he commended the businesses located around Heritage Park, saying, “The rain did create some incidents and did inconvenience customers, but the businesses really stepped up to help give Rock the South fans shelter.  It speaks well of them.”

In particular, Culpepper noted an incident at Lowe’s involving a paraplegic RTS fan who was stranded by a broken down electric wheelchair.

CPD Captain of Investigation Becky Boyd, who was part of the RTS detail, related the following:

“Two gentleman were stranded on Saturday night in front of Lowe’s.  One was a paraplegic confined to a wheelchair.  The battery was dead and they had no way to charge it.  Employees at Lowe’s removed the battery and officers carried it to AutoZone in an attempt to charge it.  They were unable to do so.  We were able to load the wheelchair onto a CPD truck and transport both gentlemen to Smith Lake Campground, which is where they were staying.  It took three officers to load and unload the wheelchair.  The officers involved were myself, Officer John Anderson, Officer Zach Lathem and Officer Brandon Patterson.  Officer Phillip Botelho carried the battery to Auto Zone in an attempt to charge it.”

Boyd did not have the names of those who received assistance, nor of any Lowe’s staff.  After a call to the store, Lowe’s Manager Zach Sadler contacted The Tribune about his store’s role in the incident. 

According to Sadler, Lowe’s Associate Jeremy McKenzie disassembled the wheelchair to get to the battery, which was then taken for charging.  While working on the chair, McKenzie noticed that several screws on various components were stripped or otherwise damaged.  Using screws from the store’s own inventory, he reassembled the man’s wheelchair better than it had been when it came in.

“We do have an amazing staff,” said Sadler.  “We’re proud that we have employees who will step up to help.  I’m sure Jeremy didn’t do it to get any credit; he just saw a need and was glad to help.”

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