[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on SILive.com, where I was a breaking news intern from January to August 2016.]
It was Superbowl Sunday, and Dawn Amoroso of Bulls Head was grocery shopping at Stop & Shop on Richmond Avenue in Bulls Head.
After she finished loading her car with her groceries, she suddenly realized her purse was missing.
She ran back into the supermarket to check near the cash register where she had just finished paying.
She couldn’t find it.
Then she went to the patio set area of the store where she did some of her shopping. Her purse wasn’t there either.
Failing to find it, she decided to call the police and go to the 121 Precinct, where officers “were very helpful,” she said.
While she was at the police station, Michael McMahon, 58, of Tottenville, called Amoroso’s dad, whose number he found in her purse.
He told him he found her purse in a shopping cart when he went to replace his. He decided to put it in his car and wanted to try to find a telephone number when he got home.
“I didn’t want to just leave it in the store, it just bothered me,” McMahon said.
When McMahon returned the purse to Amoroso’s husband and daughter — who went to pick it — he was offered money as a thank you. McMahon politely declined the reward.
“As a woman, we carry our lives in our bags, purses,” Amoroso said. “I actually felt like a part of me was gone, it was the scariest couple of hours in my life. I thought it was beautiful that [McMahon] found it and returned it to me in tact with everything in there. It kind of restores your faith in humanity when somebody does something like that.”
McMahon said he didn’t expect such an outpouring gratitude from Amoroso. He’s been a paramedic for more than 20 years, currently working out of New York Presbyterian Hospital, and said people in his line of work don’t routinely get thanks and recognition their efforts.
“It’s nice to be acknowledged, especially the little things that us EMS guys and girls do out here,” he said. “We don’t get much acknowledgement, so something which had nothing to do with my work — here I get an acknowledgement.”