MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Coon Rapids police officer responding to a call did something unexpected.

Twyla Aurandt has worked the overnight shift at the Coon Rapids Denny’s for nine years. She says nothing out of the ordinary usually happens.

“This is a slow time of year,” Aurandt said.

She often chats with Coon Rapids police officers who come in for a bite to eat after working the overnight hours.

“When they come in I always put them in the back so they can eat in peace,” Aurandt said.

Last Thursday, she says a man came in around 1 a.m. and asked for a table for six. Aurandt says his friends never showed up.

“He had been here 2 hours then said his friends had been in accident,” she said.

The man said he forgot his wallet and offered to go get it; he owed more than $30. Unsure if he would return, Aurandt said she called the police officers she has come to know well.

Officer Josh Pirkola took the call during his regular 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift.

“I’ve been with the City of Coon Rapids for five years,” Pirkola said.

Pirkola had come to Denny’s many times before for breakfast, but this time, he didn’t know what to expect.

“You get your calls for your domestics, your public assists, peoples’ cars broken down, you name it,” Pirkola said. “It’s the overnight shift so anything can happen”

After talking with the man for a few minutes, Pirkola offered to pay for his meal.

“He was very sincere and if the roles were reversed I think he would’ve done the same thing for me too,” Pirkola said.

Pirkola says he put himself in the other man’s shoes.

“I want to change peoples’ perspectives,” Pirkola said. “I want people to treat everyone as an individual and as you’d want to be treated; I think that goes a long way.”

A small gesture, for which he is not expecting much in return; except one thing.

“I believe and trusted he would pay it forward as well,” Pirkola said.

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