Times have been hard for Jim Tully. Without a car, and barely able to make ends meet, he’s spent the last year walking two hours, each way, from his home in Canadensis, Pennsylvania, to the factory where he works, five miles away. He works the midnight shift, and winter is closing in. To make matters worse, he lives right in the heart of the manhunt for suspected cop killer Eric Frein, who is believed to be hiding out in the dense woods near where Tully lives.
But the worst part of all: Tully bears a passing resemblance to Frein. So much so, according to NBC News, that he’s been stopped, questioned, and roughed up by law enforcement so many times that he’s now taken to wearing a bright orange vest and his I.D. around his neck on a lanyard.
“The last 40 days or so, part of the routine was being stopped by the police at least once, checking to see who I am, where I’m going and where I’m coming from. One round-trip stretch coming to work and then coming home, I think I was stopped a total of seven times.”
The harassment has been so bad that during one stop, Tully thought he was going to die, he tells the Pocono Record. He says a law enforcement agent in an SUV jumped out at him, pointing his gun at him. In fact, he said, if he hadn’t been wearing a breakaway lanyard with his I.D. on it, he’d likely have been choked to death.
But there’s some good news for Mr. Tully: someone started a GoFundMe Campaign to help buy James a car, and the pledges of money have been pouring in.
Jacqueline Shipose, who pledged $25, praised Jim’s work ethic.
“You are a working citizen, walking to work daily, while there are other, capable people who won’t even roll over to turn off an alarm. Hope this helps get a car for you young man.”
The original goal of the GoFundMe Campaign to buy Jim a car was $2,500. That goal was met – and surpassed – within a few hours.
Speaking to the Global Post, Jim said that he never asked for any money, but that his community rallied around him anyway.
“I never asked for this to be done. It’s just the community showing its support on its own.”
As of this post, the GoFundMe Campaign to raise $2,500 to buy Jim Tully a car has raised $20,965.
[Image courtesy of: NBC News]