A compassionate New York Sheriff went above and beyond the call of duty to help a father get his addicted son the help he so desperately needed in a beautiful act of kindness that will touch your heart.

Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli was called to a possible kidnapping. When he arrived he discovered an entirely different situation.

Jeff Darling was driving his son to rehab. After battling drug addiction for years, Darling finally convinced him to get help at a treatment facility near Watertown, New York. "It's not easy to get an addict in treatment unless they are ready," said Darling. "My son agreed to go but a half-hour into drive from our home in Remsen he changed his mind."

Darling's son grabbed the phone, called 911, and said he'd been kidnapped. That's when a trooper and Sheriff Carpinelli arrived on the scene. "They spent 90 minutes on the side of the road patiently talking to my son," said Darling, who took a picture of the touching moment. "Anyone who deals with an addict knows how difficult it is to communicate with them."

Credit - Carletta Darling
Credit - Carletta Darling

Sheriff Carpinelli finally convinced Darling's son, without using force, to let him drive him to rehab, which was more than an hour away. He even stopped along the way to pick up snacks and drinks. "The Sheriff told my son 'I'm not leaving you until we get you to treatment'" explained Darling. "I didn't expect Mike to take him the entire way but he just said 'this is what we do.'"

It wasn't just a drive either. Sheriff Carpinelli walked Darling's son into the treatment center, carrying his bags, making sure he got settled. "I can't even explain how much compassion and patience this man showed to my son," said Darling as he choked back tears. "I don't even know where he came from. I'm at a loss for words. We need more people in blue like Mike."

Darling's son finished his 21-day rehab but still struggles with his addiction every day. "Something needs to be done to change the way treatment facilities operate," said Darling. "You can't treat someone who has battled addiction for more than a decade in only 21 days. It takes a lot longer than that."

It took two years for Darling to share the story of his son's trip to rehab and the Sheriff who tried to save him. "Hopefully with more people showing this type of compassion, more people would understand not only what families are going through but what the men and women in blue deal with on a daily basis."

Sheriff Carpinelli is running for Governor in the 2022 election and Darling says he wanted people to know who the Republican candidate really was. "He's the type of person who puts others first and makes a difference. I can't thank him enough."

Sheriff Carpinelli is our First Responder of the week. Whether or not he'll be the Governor of New York, only time will tell.

Do you know a first responder that deserves to be recognized? Tell us about someone who should be honored in Central New York. We'll honor one first responder every Friday and as a way to say thank you, we'll give them a Bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

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