A woman who was pulled over by a cop just minutes after finding out her mom had been placed in hospice care returned home to find the officer had sent her a bunch of flowers.
Robin Sutherland told INSIDE EDITION that she was overwhelmed by the act of kindness from Officer Ashleigh Catatao, a five-year veteran of the Somerville Police Department in Massachusetts.
"There are so many negative stories about police," she said. "This one is just so touching."
When Sutherland got the call on Wednesday morning that her 90-year-old mom, who has been ill since breaking her hip in August, was being moved to hospice care, she was stunned.
"It was a surprise. This has all happened within just a few months," she said. Her mother is pictured below.
Minutes after getting the call, she got into her car to drive to work. As she thought about her mother, Sutherland said she was unaware that she was beginning to speed.
"There was no traffic so I was just driving," she recounted. "I was just driving and not paying attention. When I was pulled over, I rolled down my window and asked, 'How fast was I going?'"
Officer Catatao told her she was going 40 mph in a 30mph zone, and asked her if she had previously had any tickets. Sutherland told her she was given a warning in the 80s and the officer went back to her vehicle to check the information.
"It was the first quiet time since I had the news," Sutherland said. "All of a sudden, it just hit me. [My mom is] not eating, she's not alright and - wow! The tears just came."
When the officer returned to her car, she was shocked to see Sutherland in tears - over what she thought was a traffic warning. That's when Sutherland told her what was on her mind.
"She was so sweet," Sutherland said of the officer. "I told her my mom is 90 and she said, 'You're never ready to lose a parent.'"
After being sent on her way with the warning, Sutherland headed to work. But Officer Catatao told INSIDE EDITION that she couldn't stop thinking about the woman.
"I felt really bad because I have a mother and I am a mother myself," she said. "When you're working, it's not like you can break down and cry with these people. They look to us to protect them and make them feel safe. But it didn't leave me. I couldn't stop thinking about it."
Later that day, Sutherland's husband texted her to say flowers had been delivered to their home.
A note on the flowers read: "I'm very sorry to hear about your mother. I hope you find comfort in knowing she lived a long life and will continue to live on in your heart and in your memories."
She signed the note: "Officer who pulled you over this morning."
Sutherland was shocked.
"When he read the card to me, I thought, 'That is unbelievable,'" she said. "She didn't interact with me for more than three minutes. But during her own time and using her own money, she did this."
The officer said she's happy to help.
"I'm glad I could make her feel a little better," she said. "It's just me being a human being."
Chief Fallon praised his officer, saying: "We can never, as law enforcement officers, forget about the people we serve, even when they are technically breaking the law.
"Officer Catatao's compassion should serve as a model for others that even in the simplest-seeming situations, police are often encountering people during their most vulnerable and critical times, and any comfort we can offer them in addition to our normal duties is a bonus."