Former addict has chance encounter with arresting officer

FILE - This image shows a mug shot of Shawn Thompson from when he was arrested in 2004 for cooking meth in his house. (Courtesy Shawn Thompson)

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) - Shawn Thompson was on his way to a meeting in Sissonville for work Thursday night when he noticed a police officer lying on the ground changing a tire on his cruiser.

"I hit the brakes immediately. I was going to stop and help, no matter who it was,” said Thompson, who is the chief operator at the Sissonville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Stopping for a police officer was not something Thompson would have done in the past.

Thompson said he used to run from police, because he was addicted to methamphetamine. That is until Charleston Police Department Sgt. Scott Deitz showed up at Thompson's house.

"We found a meth lab, which I ended up charging him with,” said Deitz.

Thompson said he remembers cussing Deitz up and down during the arrest.

"Even throughout all that, he never changed. He still showed me respect. He still was courteous, professional,” Thompson added.

Looking back on the arrest 12 years later, Thompson said Dietz saved his life. Thompson has been sober for more than a decade now.

That brings us back to Thursday. Thompson pulled off into the parking lot to lend a hand to the officer and said hello.

"That's when I turned around and saw it was him," added Deitz.

Thompson and Deitz have bumped into each other from time to time since the initial arrest and have always said hello to one another, but this time Thompson helped Deitz. They also had a nice talk.

"He had talked about what a bad day he'd had. I guess there was some things going on previously in the day that had got him down,” Thompson added.

Deitz said Thompson's act of kindness and the conversation turned his day around. Thompson does not hold any type of grudge against Deitz.

"They're just doing their job, who are we to judge? They're out there doing a hard job, and the world needs more of [Sgt.] Deitz," added Thompson.

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