Citizen captures wonderful act of kindness by an Ocala police officer

ocala news, positive news, ocala post, ocala police officer, erica hay, act of kindness, policelivesmatter
Ocala Police Officer Sergeant Erica Hay. Top left – Ocala Post file photo. Other photos were shot by TiAnna S. Greene, of Ocala.

Ocala, Florida — Citizens have no way of knowing what types of dangers or monsters a law enforcement officer encounters on a daily basis.

The disrespect toward officers that Ocala Post witnessed following shots being fired from a neighborhood near the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion on July 12 was just one example of what law enforcement endure every day.

As of lately, it seems that the public’s perception of law enforcement across the county is that all law enforcement officers are badge-wearing criminals.

It is also not surprising that some media outlets have played a significant role in helping the public form that perception.

And while recent cases across the country have involved both good and bad officers; one would hope that the average person would be smart enough to know that one bad law enforcement officer does not spoil the whole bunch.

Often times, the good that a law enforcement officer does goes unnoticed.

But not today.

TiAnna S. Greene, of Ocala, said that what she saw an Ocala Police Officer do on Thursday morning made her day.

Greene, who does not know the officer, said she was blessed to witness the officer taking time out of her morning to have breakfast with a homeless man.

“Although I was the only person blessed to witness less than two minutes of her kindness that definitely came from the heart, it truly made my morning,” Greene wrote. “This absolutely wonderful act of kindness seemed to come naturally to [the officer].”

Greene said it appeared that the officer purchased the breakfast for the man and had decided to eat with him.

And as it turns out, Greene was right.

Through previous contact, Ocala Post was able to identify the officer as OPD Officer Sergeant Erica Hay.

At first, Sergeant Hay was very reluctant to speak with Ocala Post because she did not want the attention, and she was extremely humble about the entire situation.

“I absolutely did not do this for attention,” Sergeant Hay said. “I was heading to Dunkin’ Donuts to get breakfast when I saw this man sitting by himself, so, I decided to buy him breakfast.  I then went over, sat down, and ate breakfast with him.”

She went on to say, “He turned out to be a very nice man who just has a sad story.” She added, “He is a person.”

She said, “I never met the man until today.”

“He was a very nice man. He appreciated the conversation and the breakfast,” Sergeant Hay said.

Many have expressed their gratitude toward TiAnna S. Greene for taking the time out of her day to shoot this photo, and then share it with the community.

OPD said, “Thank you TiAnna S. Greene, for sharing this example of our officers’ commitment and concern for all of the citizens in our community. We commend Sgt. Hay for serving Ocala with heart.”

Greene said, “I wasn’t expecting this [attention] at all. I just wanted to share because it truly touched me and brightened my day.”

Ocala Post could not locate the man for an interview.

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  • Ms Betty

    Maybe if more officers were like her, OPD wouldn’t have such a bad rep. Yes, they have a tough job but they chose that job, it was their choice. Sgt Hay obviously loves her job,

    • Officer5482

      Ms Betty as an Officer your comment is highly offensive to not only myself but my fellow Officers as well. I’m not sure where you heard that the Ocala Police Department has “such a bad rep.” because the majority of the Citizens I have had contact with if not all have nothing but sang praise for our agency. We handle hundreds of calls a day and do it all with grace and humility. I apologize if you have had a bad contact with an officer or two but I can assure everyone of the Officers I have had the pleasure of working along side of has been curious and went above and beyond to help on any call we have gone too.

      • hotshotexpressfl

        ive wittnessed you guys abuse first hand working with the homeless. we had to move out of tuscawilla from your idle threats of arresting the ones feeding and providing fellowship with them. and locking them up for falling asleep in the park so the county get paid for them being in jail. and harassing them for no id’s which i have on video two of your cops threatning me while i videoed them harrasing our homies right after a church service we do for them. you guys are cowards cant get real criminals off the streets what about the 5,000 missing sexual offenders and predators that are missing on you guys watch. dont think a article on one of you doing a good deed justify all the bad u do.

        • Ms Betty

          hotshotexpressfl~Thank you. Apparently Officer5482 gets offended by the truth or maybe this is his/her wake up call. Whichever the situation, I merely stated a fact and if he/she can’t handle it, well, that’s not my problem.

          • Huskyrider

            Oh yeah… And what do you do with your life Ms. (Emphasis on Ms.) Betty?

          • hotshotexpressfl

            and it doesnt matter what she does for a living. has nothing to do with ther conversation but im a gainfully employed trucker owner operator and spend 125,000 miles a year crossing this country what the F do u do.

          • Huskyrider

            Wow.LOL! Nice mouth Church goer. I’m glad you don’t represent ALL of us. But, some people could read your remarks and label all of us as hypocrites. Know anyone that would do that?

            For the record, I didn’t ask her what she does for a living (nor did I ask you). I asked what she does with her life….such as volunteer to feed the homeless, as you do. People are so quick to judge others. It’s done too often. You sure wouldn’t appreciate someone saying all truckers suck just because they have had bad experiences with truckers, right. You serve an important purpose… Just as law enforcement does.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Marion County and opd has a very bad track record Google it. If you are a good cop I’m glad weed out those very few dirty ones giving a bad name.brwak ranks turn them in.and no I’m not a hypocrite if I was I’d hide my language I talk the Same way in my church and in front of the pastor I’d need be. I don’t hide nothing. Just a sinner saved by grace and always needing forgiveness

          • Huskyrider

            As all of us do.

          • Huskyrider

            And I just have to say I wasn’t calling you a hypocrite. I was saying others could read your comments and unfairly judge Christians (as hypocrites). Just like good officers being judged unfairly based on some.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Yep ask someone if they love God 98 percent say yea. Ask if they like churches or Christians 98 percent say no so we attempt to just love everyone and give a darn

          • Huskyrider

            Right on.

          • urchittingme

            Hotshot? If you drive a pickup and trailer that hardly makes you a trucker

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Oh really is that so. Well guess what I drove semis from 1986–2007 when I started this .and still required to carry a cdl with hazmat and do log books. So when you are making a 150,000 a year in a pickup and not your minimum wage ocala wage then come talk to me

          • urchittingme

            After expensive you are making minimum wage, There’s no way you take that much home, Nice try hangbelly

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Just goes to show how much you know about trucking stick to KFC you’ll be ok. What’s 2.50 a mile times 125-150,000 minus 37 percent for expenses. You can get back with me in the morning when u have time to take a your shoes off to count that high. Just keep saying do you want fries with that.

          • urchittingme

            I’m in the business fool, don’t get upset because I exposed you for the liar you are

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Must be one of those scab illegal uship shippers then better learn how to make a profit or go to mcdonalds. I have 4 major contracts with eone nautical and zodiac boats and upcoming plastics. Just delivered two boats to Micheal Douglas yacht last week any more stupid comments scab

          • urchittingme

            Yeah…Don’t you have somewhere to be moneybags? Good thing you drive a pickup truck so you can haul all that imaginary money to the bank…Oh and keep your eyes on the road stupid

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Not on the the road fag got I don’t text text and drive sitting on my ass in front of the TV yep like my imaginary money live great on it maybe you’ll learn how to do it one day one hint uship ain’t gonna do it for you.wanna be trucker

          • urchittingme

            Lmao. Go away inbreeder

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Such strong g trucker words yep you a wanna be beat your truck is rainbow colors

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Ur user name needs to be changed to shit head bet that is your cb handle

          • Shmuck

            May as well bang your head against the wall.

        • Huskyrider

          They get criminals off the streets all day long you thankless azz! Grow up.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            really dickhead. falling asleep in a park or putting your tent too close to the city limits warrant 60 days in jail. hety idiot ill be outside at interfaith doing church and fedding the homeless next sat from 9-11 am come on out if you have the balls ask for ray. we’ll let you hear the stories, you are probably a dirty marion deputy or ocala city cop anyway.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            matter of fact bring a couple dozen doughnuts. if you are what i think you are you get them free anyway. how about helping out your fellow man than shaking them down for no id or sleeping on a bench.

          • Huskyrider

            Thanks for proving my point.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            really real high iq there thats all you know to say. i have 2 friends that are real cops with fhp and dot and you never hear troopers getting in bad situations and getting bad feedback just opd and mcso so what is there just a bunch of bullies there. guess you anwsered my question

          • Huskyrider

            And no, I’m not a police officer….but I do appreciate them.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            Offer still stands come on out and get to know some fellow citizens that have it a little worse than us and deal with the local cops on a daily basis

          • Huskyrider

            Thanks maybe I’ll do that.

  • Charlene Durning

    Thank you Ocala Post for sharing this story with everyone. It’s really nice to see the good in people not always the bad.

  • tomfromocala

    Wonderful story. Also glad to see that Ocala Post didn’t just take the photo for what it shows (no offense to TiAnna intended) and interviewed the officer. Thank you to TiAnna for sharing the photo with us.

  • Itsabouttime

    I sent this article to a lot of media outlets. Wonder how many will actually share.

  • hotshotexpressfl

    really????? is this same officer been with any of the others with opd that locks the homeless up for falling asleep in thepark or harasses them by interfaith when we are feeding them and providing a church service. typical ocala star banner how about posting all the bad things opd do to the homeless, guess i need to start rolling video all the time

    • GiveMeABreak

      You realize this isn’t the Ocala Star Banner right? This is Ocala Post and they do in fact post all the bad things any agency does.

      • alvinverum@gmail.com

        You do realize the photo was taken by another law enforcement officer?

        • GiveMeABreak

          I’m not debating the validity of the photo, just pointing out that this is Ocala Post, not the Star Banner like was mentioned above. Ocala Post can’t cover EVERYTHING but they tend to get the full story while the Star Banner doesn’t.

          • Itsabouttime

            Alvin Must be a cop hater. Trying to spread propaganda. Can’t trust a person that likes his own comments.

          • alvinverum@gmail.com

            What propaganda Ms. Greene is a Juvenile Probation officer in Ocala. Ocala post deleted the Linkdin link I posted with this relevant information.

          • john1967

            Ocala Post doesn’t allow links. So, I am sure it was never posted. AND who the fuck cares? Even if she is a probation officer, I am sure they didn’t tell OP that. Get a life you hack job.

          • alvinverum@gmail.com

            Ok, so they don’t allow any links so they deleted my post. I always take a screen shot of my posts so I have proof. OP should have asked the photographer what they did – afterall john1967 they tracked down the officer and tried to track down the homeless man, but they did not ask the first question that comes to my mind when I see a PR fluff piece like this. You are a frustrated little woman.

          • john1967

            What I am saying is, that if you post a link, then return to the post it will be gone. Just as with any media outlet that uses the Disquss platform if they don’t allow links. It deletes automatically. I know, I have posted many links in the past.

          • john1967

            And doesn’t the article say they had interviewed the officer before? Sure they didn’t have to look hard.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            You don’t have to hate cops they make themselves hated. Especially sheriffs office case in point 2 million dollar suit settled last year and upheld by apellant court for wrongful death and coming soon the one from last year where they took a drunk passed out handcuffed man and gave him brain damage by beating his head 3 times on a concrete wall and dumass knew the Camara was rolling which means they don’t care and have no regard for anyone else. Punk ass pus sy bullies.

          • Huskyrider

            I’ve never had a bad experience with a lease enforcement officer. You are painting with an extremely broad brush… Ignorant.

          • hotshotexpressfl

            so because YOU one person out of 300,000 in ocala hadnt it doesnt exsist who is really the ignorant one????? really dude go cash your welfare check.

          • Huskyrider

            And that brush just keeps getting broader. That was a very sensible statement on your part.

      • Itsabouttime

        Exactly my thoughts.

      • alltoooften

        I know right. Hence the section called “Cops and Crime”..lol SMH Definitely not the blunder.

  • William Friss

    I saw this happen also, at the time myself and my friend thought it a really nice and selfless act.

  • alvinverum@gmail.com

    TiAnna S. Greene is a Juvenile Probation Officer – that is a peace officer. How is this fact getting deleted by the moderator?

  • Ocala native

    I don’t think this was a staged event, she looks to be very sincere. Ocala Post does a great job choosing the stories they print, keep up the good work.

  • Brandy Mocanu

    Great example of a peace officer!

  • simpleminds

    Four questions that go through a person’s mind when confronted by law enforcement:

    Will they –
    Bite you?
    Bait you?
    Beat you?
    Befriend you?

    …the best we can hope for is “one out of four”?

    How did we get here?
    Common Law in the absence of high moral fiber results in chaos.
    Chaos results in diligence or destruction.

    “Out of chaos we bring Order” – guess who says that?

    …it’s NOT the boys and girls next door who would make great “peace” officers !

    • Ocala native

      Now how did you come to writing this from the article you read? I bet your someone who loves to hear them self speak.

      • simpleminds

        I read the article – as I’m assuming you did.

        I don’t believe everything I read.
        There are some things of which I have first hand knowledge.

        I’m not here to appease “wishful thinkers”.
        They are the people who are importing Terrorism – and quoting “…judge not…”

        If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it.
        However, even you will have to admit that “it’s broke!”

        If you don’t – then I’ll meet you at a Cincinnati Hip Hop Concert.

        • Ocala native

          Yep I was right, your just someone who likes to ramble on about nothing in particular.

          • simpleminds

            Chrisean Bollers of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office once told commissioners during a board meeting, “The greatest threat to Marion County is not terrorists or criminals; the greatest threat is the people in this room.” (Meaning the County Commissioners.)

            …Over 200 firefighters and paramedics, nearly half of the workforce, have turned in resignation letters over the last four years.

            In a letter to Qamar, Theresa Dampier, CMS Program Integrity Manager, wrote, “The suspension for your Medicare payments is based on ‘credible allegations of fraud,’ which is defined as ‘an allegation from any source,’ including but not limited to ‘fraud hotline complaints and patterns identified through provider audits, civil false claims cases, and law enforcement investigations.’”

            In Ocala, Florida, a Marion County corrections officer was arrested January 12 for smuggling marijuana, submarine sandwiches, and a cell phone into the county jail. Guard Joseph Jones went down after the sheriff’s office grew suspicious and enlisted the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. He is charged with possession of marijuana and two counts of introducing contraband into a prison. Jones has been suspended without pay, and the sheriff’s office has opened an internal investigation.

            Ocala Crime Data Crime Data FAQ

            CRIME INDEX – 6 (100 is safest)

            Safer than 6% of the cities in the US.

            Ocala Annual Crimes

            VIOLENT: 332
            PROPERTY: 2,891
            TOTAL: 3,223

            annual crimes per 1,000 residents

            5.78 50.31 56.08

            Violent Crime Comparison per 1,000 residents

            NATIONAL MEDIAN

            3.8

            MY CHANCES OF BECOMING A VICTIM in Ocala: 1 in 173

            in Florida: 1 in 213

            5.78

            4.70

            Ocala, Florida – Population 57,468

            Ocala, FL, violent crime, on a scale from 1 (low crime) to 100, is 73. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The US average is 41.4.

            Ocala, FL, property crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 100, is 68. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. The US average is 43.5.

          • simpleminds

            Ocala, Florida:

            Officially safer that 6% of American cities – now that’s really something pound your chest over.

          • simpleminds

            Hey, Ocala Native – do you want me to do some more “cut and paste” about the sorry condition of Ocala?

            You didn’t want to hear my ramblings – so, I thought I’d bring other people’s opinion of Ocala to this bulletin Board.

            Sadly, my original writing was about bad police in general. “You” made it personal.

            I’ve driven through Ocala before – stopped for gas – grabbed something to eat. It seemed like an average American city.

            But, after you wanted me to quote other people – I found out what a cesspool is it.

            Don’t be too discouraged though – a lot of American cities are going through the same downward spiral. How would you like to be in Baltimore or Ferguson?

            …see, I “can” find a silver lining for Ocala – and y’all probably have lots of lemonade stands that didn’t robbed recently.

          • Ocala native

            Ok I’m going to take a stab at this, you have a 4 year degree in some no name college for which your parents paid for, you have turned down every job opportunity that has been presented to you because you feel your above them. You could not tell me anything about Ocala other than we have an interstate running through it ( no idea where Salt Springs or Bream Pond is). You do not own a home and your car is the same piece of crap your parents bought you, you have never served your country and you spend all day researching the dumb crap you post.

          • simpleminds

            Yes – I have a 4 year degree.
            No – you “have heard of my university”
            I own my own business
            I own my own home
            I am a Vietnam veteran
            I “don’t” spend all day researching – but I “do” spend time at it.
            I am semi-retired (someone else runs my business – thus giving me the time to do this)

            But, why am I wasting time writing to you?

            I would ask the same questions of you – but, people like you are the reason Obama’s in office – got elected a second time – and wishes his “Camelot” make-over of America would happen faster.

            Ok, I’m going to take a stab at this, you idolize Ann Dunham.

          • simpleminds

            You got 3 things right:
            I “do ” have a 4 year degree;
            I “don’t” know where Salt Springs or Bream Pond is;
            I “do” spend a lot of time researching
            (not all day – but I will still give you that one).

          • simpleminds

            I came back to our “bantering”.

            Someone just “up-voted” one of my responses to you.

            I went back and reread your writing.

            I think it is important to address your comment:
            “…college for which your parents paid for …”

            You couldn’t be more wrong.
            Even though I have a 4-year degree – it took me much longer to complete it.

            I paid for 100% of my education.
            Although I had the GI-Bill payments to help – it wasn’t enough.
            There were a lot of night classes because I was working during the day.
            However, in some cases – that was a good thing – because “night instructors” are sometimes “practitioners”.
            “They” also work day jobs – and teach at night. Often they own their business and find employees in their classrooms.
            For me – I appreciated them because they “really understood” what they were teaching.
            Under normal circumstances, the amount of years it took me to get my “4-year” degree, would have allowed me to get “at least a Masters”, and maybe even a “Doctorate”.

            As to your comment about “turning down EVERY job opportunity that has been presented to me because I feel above it” – that is true *NOW*.

            However, while I was putting myself through college – and even the first few years after I graduated – I took the best job possible.

            That included bar-tending and taxi-driving – nighttime telemarketing and lawn-mowing.
            I had dozens of “Temp Jobs”.

            And – I was not alone. There are 100’s of 1,000’s of men and women just like me.

            There are probably several in Ocala.
            It is their “tax base” that is keeping Ocala afloat.
            And – they are the ones being “betrayed” by the elected/appointed officials.

          • simpleminds

            Hey, Ocala Native – do you want me to do some more “cut and paste” about the sorry condition of Ocala?

            You didn’t want to hear my ramblings – so, I thought I’d bring other people’s opinion of Ocala to this bulletin Board.

            Sadly, my original writing was about bad police in general. “You” made it personal.

            I’ve driven through Ocala before – stopped for gas – grabbed something to eat. It seemed like an average American city.

            But, after you wanted me to quote other people – I found out what a cesspool is it.

            Don’t be too discouraged though – a lot of American cities are going through the same downward spiral. How would you like to be in Baltimore or Ferguson?

            …see, I “can” find a silver lining for Ocala – and y’all probably have lots of lemonade stands that didn’t get robbed recently.

  • Jerry3701

    Amen !

  • alvinverum@gmail.com

    Question. If a someone who worked for Jaguar Media Holdings LLC took a picture of an employee of the Ocala Post eating a meal with a homeless person – would that be news. No it wouldn’t be – it is PR at it’s worst. That is what this story is – PR. Why is there not a byline on this or other articles on this website?

  • alvinverum@gmail.com

    This is not a credible website. No bylines. For all anyone knows it is run by law enforcement. Good grief.

    • john1967

      You are a douche

      • alvinverum@gmail.com

        you really should….about what you said.

      • criminaljustice2day

        He really does seem like a douche, or Ocala Post’s competition. Because, we all know how hated OP is by other news outlets for their no bullshit style reporting. Wouldn’t be the first time another news outlet has trolled this page. Reading his BS, he seems like the kind of guy that either kills animals, molests little girls, or beats women. Then gets on his PC and talks big. He prob. likes guns, but hates cops because he could never be one. Might even be involved in some sort of neighborhood watch. Yeah, he is prob a ticking time bomb for people around him.

        • tomfromocala

          Good observation. Didn’t think of that, but it does make sense. Kind of like when the writer for the Banner “quit”, “resigned”, “was forced to move on t a new paper” and was pissed.

    • Huskyrider

      Low IQ alert!

  • linda

    and this is what every police officer should be like but they are pressured to bring in revenue with tickets.

  • Huskyrider

    Wow…. Just amazes that people criticize law enforcement and yet have no clue what it’s like to do their job. They have to handle the worst of the worst all day. Doing what we don’t want to do, but rather sit on our comfy couch bad mouthing. It’s disgusting and shameful.

  • alltoooften

    I know you don’t delete comments OP, but could you please clean this up? A lot of garbage non-relevant comments clogging up the entire section.

  • urchittingme

    Thank you Officer Hay and all first responders for your work, and thanks again Ocala post

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