Roman police officers responding to a call of cries of distress from an elderly couple’s apartment didn’t find any evidence of a crime. Instead, they found evidence of something even worse: loneliness. The compassionate cops then made pasta and shared a meal with the couple, NBC News is reporting.
Neighbors of Jole, 89, and her husband Michele, 94, called the police one hot summer night not long ago (police aren’t saying exactly when the incident took place) after hearing the sounds of crying coming from their apartment. Neighbors feared the worst — perhaps the couple were injured, were overheated, or had been victims of a scam. But when police entered the apartment, they found out simply that the elderly couple, who have been married for over 70 years, were simply lonely.
Police said that the elderly couple had been crying because no one had visited them in several months and were also upset by something they had seen on the news (a story about children being abused in a kindergarten).
In a Facebook post that his since been shared over 27,000 times, a police spokesperson explained what was going on.
“There isn’t a crime. Jole and Michele are not victims of a scam, as often happens to the elderly, and no burglar came in the house. There’s no one to save. This time… there is a more difficult task to perform here — there are two lonely souls to reassure.”
After calling an ambulance to make sure the couple was OK physically (they were), the police got permission to search the couple’s cupboards and cabinets to make sure the couple had enough to eat. They found only a few withered grapes. Then, the police did something above and beyond the call of duty: They made pasta for the elderly couple, sat down, and shared a meal with them.
“We improvised a little dinner. A bowl of pasta with butter and cheese. Nothing special. But inside there is a precious ingredient: humanity.”
— CNN (@CNN) August 9, 2016
In a photo of the beautiful incident, a cop identified only as Andrea can be seen cooking while his colleagues Alessandro, Ernesto and Mirko, “entertain their new friends.”
Police in Rome cook 2 plates of pasta for lonely, quarreling elderly couple https://t.co/hJWUvEzPps pic.twitter.com/hCl2UwlUO4
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) August 10, 2016
Thanks to a follow-up Facebook post posted Thursday afternoon (Rome time), it appears that the Roman people, moved by the story, have responded in kind to the elderly couple’s plight.
“We have been overwhelmed by your kind messages. You and a lot of other people give us the strength to do our best everyday! Due to privacy restrictions and the large amount of requests, we prefer not to provide the address or any other detail of Jole and Michele, but you can send any letter or postcard to our address: we will collect them all together and our agents will bring them to our friends.
“Do NOT send money, food or any other items. Please send only letters or postcards.”
This is not the first time police have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help out someone in a bad situation. In May, a Massachusetts state trooper made headlines when he stopped to have lunch with a homeless woman. According to WLS (Chicago), trooper Luke Bronin was leaving court when he saw the homeless woman holding a sign asking for help. He went to a nearby lunch stop to buy two meals, then returned to the scene and sat down with the woman for an outdoor lunch.
If you would like to send a letter or a postcard to the elderly couple in Rome, you can find the address here.
[Image via Tom Pavlasek/Shutterstock]