Fort Worth Police Officers Buy Air Conditioner for 95-Year-Old WWII Veteran
As temperatures topped 90 degrees in Fort Worth, Texas, last week, 95-year-old Julius Hatley found only a little bit of relief in the shade of his front porch. But by Thursday, the WWII veteran couldn't take another moment without a working air conditioner, so he went out on a limb. Drenched in sweat, he called Fort Worth Police Department to report his broken air conditioner.
"This wasn't a regular 911 call," Fort Worth Officer William Margolis told CBS News. "It was what you'd label 'low priority' because we're not AC techs."
After responding to a few other calls first, Margolis and his partner, Christopher Weir, made their way to Hatley's home. They found that both his central air conditioning and window unit were broken. "When we got there around 8:30 a.m. his house was 85 to 90 degrees already," Margolis told CBS News. "In Texas, it gets hot."
Ain't that the truth!
The officers discussed the situation and told Hatley that they would come up with something to help him. When they left, the old man returned to his porch where it was coolest. But Margolis says he couldn't shake the image of Hatley in the sweltering heat, so together, he and Weir decided to make a pit stop at a nearby Home Depot to buy him a new air conditioner.
"While there, Home Depot managers and employees decided to contribute $150 of their own money to help with the cause," Weir's wife, Jennifer, wrote on Facebook. "This is what being an officer is about."
Later that day, Margolis and Weir returned to Hatley's house and installed a new window unit themselves.
"He was actually really excited," Margolis recalled to CBS. "He said he knew if he needed help to call 911 and we actually were able to help him, so he was really excited about it."
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But that's not where this touching story ends.
"Since the story was [first shared], we have all worked on getting his central air replaced and a company came forward to do so, completely for free." Jennifer Weir told CBS News. "We are also currently working on getting his windows replaced, his house repainted and groceries every week."
Margolis also said he plans to check in on Hatley when he can. "He's 95 years old and he's a World War II veteran," Margolis said. "He's a hero. In our eyes he's our hero."