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Deputy lends a hand during a frigid night

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(WBNG) -- When the sun goes down, Broome County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Mastronardi is just starting his day.

Valentine's Day made for frigid weather, temperatures dropping into the single digits as the sun went down. For Deputy Mastronardi, he's out on patrol to lend a hand to anyone caught in the cold.

"At night time you wouldn't typically see people walking around as much, so if you do, I'll pull up and check on them," said Mastronardi.

Usually, that's where it ends. Mastronardi will make a check, and head on his way to continue patrolling. However, during a ride along with 12 News, we came across a car stuck in an intersection.

"We were at the right place at the right time," said Mastronardi.

The car, stalled out in the middle of the road, blocking traffic in all directions. Mastronardi immediately jumped into action, pushing the car out of the street.

The driver, Laura Brown, says she was a damsel in distress.

"It's stressful to think about it. You know, you take all these preparations and plans and you try to do whatever you do to make things right, and then all of a sudden, poof!" Brown described.

Brown says she was on her way to meet a friend for a Valentine's Day dinner. When her car died, she feared she wouldn't make it. That's when she says, her knight in shining armor came to the rescue.

"I honestly can't imagine, I have no words, it's an emotional thing," said Brown.

Deputy Mastronardi followed protocol and called a tow truck for Brown. That's when he decided to go the extra mile, offering to personally drive Brown to the restaurant.

"Everyone has a very bad stigma about police officers, and I probably encountered one of Binghamton's finest," said Brown.

The simple act of taking time to help someone else, meaning more than any box of chocolates or bouquet of flowers on Valentine's Day.

"This whole experience in general has been greatly stressful, but it's been one of the best experiences of my life," said Brown.

Mastronardi was able to get Brown to her dinner just in time, and she says she's grateful someone took the time and energy to help her out.

Katie Jones

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