HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) – A routine traffic stop by a Hillsborough County deputy turned into something much more after he ended up helping a motorcyclist who was struggling.
Deputy Donald Rizer was patrolling for a motorcycle safety grant when he pulled over a motorcyclist in his 20s for an exhaust pipe. Deputy Rizer quickly realized the motorcyclist was upset about something more than being pulled over.
“Once I made contact with him and came up beside him, I could clearly tell it was something different,” Rizer said.
In the body camera video, you can hear the motorcyclist say, “I’ve had a horrible week.” He tells the deputy, “I saw my friend die in front of me.”
Deputy Rizer proceeds to tell the motorcyclist to talk it out with him.
“The biggest tool in anybody’s belt, in my opinion, is your ears. The ability to listen, let someone speak,” Deputy Rizer told 8 On Your Side.
He reassured the motorcyclist the traffic stop wasn’t about a citation, but rather making sure that he was OK.
“I’m glad I stopped you if you were emotional like that. When you get a chance to talk to people, that can help you,” Deputy Rizer said in the body camera video.
The motorcyclist replies, “you’re the first person I can actually talk to.”
“It’s not all about tickets or arresting people and dumb stuff like that, alright?” Deputy Rizer told the man. “If somebody needs help or needs to talk…it’s emotional.”
Deputy Rizer gave the motorcyclist a warning about his exhaust pipe, and also gave him his cell phone number and told him to call anytime he needs someone to talk to.
“Anything you can do outside of your job to be nice to somebody, that always helps,” added Deputy Rizer.