Indiana cop gives prayer -- not ticket -- to speeding man

by Tobin Perry, |
Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil prays with a distraught man he pulls over for speeding instead of writing him a ticket. The man had just discovered his daughter was dying from breast cancer. | Screenshot/RTV6-ABC

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Christian Examiner)—An Indiana state trooper had a better response than a ticket for a speeding dad who had just gotten heart-breaking news.

That response was prayer.

Here I was thinking this man needs prayer, and now he's asking me for a prayer. The good Lord put us together for a purpose.

Rodney Gibson had recently discovered his daughter's breast cancer wasn't going away. Struggling with the diagnosis, his speed got away from him on a busy Indiana highway.

When Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Durnil pulled Gibson over, the man appeared to be very "upset and angry," according to an article by ABC News. Yet Durnil realized he wasn't upset about the traffic stop but about something else entirely.

As the state trooper tried to get through to the obviously distraught Gibson, he discovered an angel pin identical to one he owned on the man's sun visor. He pointed the pin out to Gibson and noted they weren't that different.

That's when Gibson, with tears in his eyes, told Durnil that his daughter had given him the pin and she had recently been told that the breast cancer she had been battling had metastasized and she likely wouldn't survive much longer.

As Durnil headed back to his patrol car, he thought about how Gibson needed prayer and decided he'd ask his family and church to pray for the man.

"I also thought, this man already has enough, I'm not going to write him any paperwork for a ticket or even a warning," Durnil told ABC News. "When I walked back to his truck, I explained everything. He still seemed agitated, but not as bad, and he apologized, saying, 'I'm sorry, I usually don't act this way, I've just been going through a lot.'"

Durnil then asked if Gibson he needed anything else.

"Do you know how to pray?" Gibson asked.

"Here I was thinking this man needs prayer, and now he's asking me for a prayer," Durnil said. "The good Lord put us together for a purpose."

So the two men prayed right there on the side of the road. The next morning Gibson called the officer's station to thank Durnil . The company where Gibson works also discovered the story and called the station to share Gibson's number so the two could get together in the future.

"I hope everyone that hears about this is one more person that can pray for him and his family," Durnil said.