It takes a certain breed of low to steal from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, but it's a whole other breed of WTF when the robber is a police officer. A surveillance video in Memphis International Airport caught Memphis Police Department officer Ronald Harris trying to steal money from a Make-A-Wish family, while the department were literally trying to fulfill the recipient's wish.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, of course, is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children faced with life-threatening medical conditions. "A Make-A-Wish experience is a life-altering experience in a positive way, and it's a wonderful healing time for the family to be together, to forget about the situation that brought them to wish in the first place," Make-A-Wish Mid-South Director of Community Outreach Miranda Harbor told CBS 5.
Which is not exactly what happened Saturday for one Make-A-Wish family.
According to the police report, obtained by WREG Memphis, Harris followed a St. Jude Children's Research Hospital employee through the airport. The volunteer was there to drop off money for the Moore family and their 4-year-old Make-A-Wish recipient. She was carrying a brown paper bag filled with Make-A-Wish t-shirts and a $1,500 Visa credit card intended for the recipient's dream vacation.
Harris, who was off-duty at the time, sat a few seats away from the family, and after waiting a few minutes grabbed the brown paper bag from their possession and ran away through the terminal. After airport police apprehended him, he made a second attempt to grab the bag, this time grabbing the volunteer. When a member of the family, Nathan Moore, stepped in to help, Harris headbutted him. Seriously.
For those of you keeping tabs, we've now reached an all-time low with this human: a police officer who has to headbutt someone while trying to steal from a Make-A-Wish family and their 4-year-old recipient. But we're not done!
After airport police caught him the second time, they cuffed him and put him in the back of a caged police vehicle. Harris really wanted that $1,500, however (or was it the t-shirts?), because he then kicked down the car door and started running again. When he was finally caught for the third and final time, Harris was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, escape from felony incarceration, resisting official detention and evading arrest. Phew.
So, what kind of person does it take to shamelessly carry this new title of lowest human alive? After the incident, it was revealed that Harris already had several violations under his belt, including damage to a squad car, sleeping on the job, sick leave policy abuse, and failure to appear in court. According to WREG Memphis, Harris was on leave from his job seeking psychological treatment for a possible mental disorder, and his wife claims that he threatened to kill her.
After the Make-A-Wish incident, Harris was relieved of duty and is currently being held on $25,000 bond. He is expected to appear in court on June 16.
As for the Moore family, they've made it safely to their destination, where they can hopefully put this mess behind them and fulfill the child's wish.
Harris may be one of the worst examples of the human species, but he's not the only one. That's right, there's a history of people who have tried to steal from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Behold...
Long Island Man Is the Worst
In 2010, a Long Island man was arrested by Suffolk County police for using money from the Make-A-Wish foundation for his personal gain. When he was arrested, the police found that the man was driving with a stolen license, impaired by drugs, and had a stolen handicap parking permit. Talk about a model citizen.
These Two Marina del Rey Men Are Even Worse
In January, two men in Marina del Rey stole an orange electric-powered bike from an apartment complex. It turns out the bike belonged to 12-year-old Mia Timbrello, who is nonverbal and severely autistic and has had a double organ transplant, and the bike was a gift from the Make-A-Wish foundation. The bike was even custom-made to fit Timbrello's needs.
The Worst Humans Ever?
In 2010, a group of con artists conducted a massive telephone scam that swindled more than $20 million from elderly victims, mentioning the Make-A-Wish Foundation's name to gain their trust. The scammers pretended to be from an insurance company or a government agency and called unsuspecting targets to say they had won prize money from a Make-A-Wish-sponsored sweepstakes. In order to collect their prize money, all they had to do was wire an insurance payment or luxury tax payment in the range of $350,000. Of course there was no prize money. We don't know what's worse: scamming the elderly or exploiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in order to do so. Doing both really takes the cake...
Images: Wikimedia Common, Make A Wish Foundation