GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Lula Williams is lucky for a lot of reasons. And, she knows it.
On July 22, Williams pulled up to a safety checkpoint in Gautier. When the officers discovered she didn't have a safety seat for her grandchild, she explained that she couldn't afford one.
"I said I don't have a car seat and I know it. So, I just said I'm guilty and I don't know anything else to say. I expected to get a ticket. I sure did. I said, 'Well, Lord. Now I need a car seat, now I've got to pay a ticket,'" said Williams.
But instead of giving her a ticket, the officers gave her a warning, an empathetic ear, and an offer to help. The following week, Officers Austin Langfitt and Timothy Pesch dipped into their own pockets to buy Williams a car seat.
"When I got here and I saw the car seat in the new box, my heart was just overwhelmed," Williams said. "I didn't know what to say. And all I could do was cry and hug them and tell them that I thank them so much for what they had done."
Pesch says both officers felt an empathy.
"I understand that times are tough right now we me having a child myself, and Officer Langfitt just having a newborn," Pesch said. "It made us both feel good that we could help somebody in our community that's in need."
Though the violation was a serious one, it was also a big lesson: Be honest.
"You could tell she was genuine," Langfitt said. "You get a lot of people, you talk to so many people every day and everyone has a story. And you kind of can learn when someone's being genuine and actually cares. Not everybody deserves a ticket, not everyone deserves to go to jail. I believe in our community. I try to help as much as I can and do my part."
And that decision will stay with Williams for a long time.
"For them to go that extra mile for me, it meant more than I can ever say," she added.