When the Creola City Council held its regular business meeting recently, members had unexpected guests with an unexpected message. Four women, the Reverends Charlet Greene, Rosalind Amos, Donna James and Ermatine Chastang--came before the Council to bring a letter to Creola Police Chief and a plaque of appreciation for Creola Police Officer Richard Daves.
"Dear Sir," began the letter they read to the Council. "Open any newspaper, turn on any television program and you will see people either protesting some form of alleged police brutality, or rioting as a result of."
But the women came for a totally different reason, they said, and their experience is paraphrased below:
On Saturday, January 24, the group was returning from a trip to Montgomery when the driver noticed the "Low Fuel" light was on, and began looking for a gas station. They were not familiar with the area, took a wrong exit and ended up on Dead Lake Road.
They tried to make it to a gas station that was in sight, but the vehicle came to a complete stop just inches away from the railroad tracks. "Here we are, five women and one child in unfamiliar territory and no gas can," the letter read. It was 4:30 p.m.
Good things began to happen. One man stopped to try to help, but he had no gas can, either, and left to try to find one. "Meanwhile, a patrol car came up and the officer asked the driver what seemed to be the problem" and offered his help. The driver explained their plight and, "sensing her anxiety and embarrassment, he immediately tried to lighten the mood," the letter said.
Several other men stopped and the policeman got their help in pushing the SUV away from the railroad tracks and out of danger.
Putting fuel in the vehicle did not help and the women finally had to call a tow truck--a long night for both the travelers and the policeman, who stayed with them well past 6:30 p.m., the end of his shift.
In presenting the plaque for Richard Daves, which Police Chief Jerry Taylor accepted because Daves could not be there, the women said that for the above stated reasons, "We feel it an honor to be here tonight to offer a small token of our appreciation."