FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - A local sheriff who stopped to check on his deputy on the side of the road ended up giving away the boots on his feet to someone who needed them more.
Fort Bend County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Duran responded to a call Wednesday afternoon about a homeless man sitting on the side of FM 723 in Rosenberg. That roadway is just two lanes with a shoulder and heavily traveled.
When Duran approached, his attention immediately went the man's feet.
"He was sitting down trying to get ants off his feet. He had his feet covered in plastic bags and was wearing Crocs," Duran, a deputy with the department since 1996, told Eyewitness News.
Just then, Duran says Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls pulled up. Duran told him the situation. Nehls crossed the road and asked the man a question.
"What size are your feet?" could be heard on Duran's dashboard camera. Duran also recorded some of the exchange on his cell phone.
The video shows Nehls giving the man his boots.
"You don't owe me anything," he told the man. "You can't walk around like that. Your feet are wet."
Nehls declined an interview for the same reason Duran has fielded some criticism, concerns it might have been contrived.
"It was genuine, yeah. I've known him for 20 years. That's him. He really does care for people," said Duran in Nehls' defense.
And so does Duran. This situation hit especially close to home.
His brother is homeless. He saw him in this man. Both he and Nehls gave the man a little cash. Duran then took him to a safer place.
He says scenes like these drive him and he wants the world to know there are many sides to police work.
"It just makes you want to go to work the next day. It's not dealing with bad people. It's dealing with people who need help," added Duran.
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