Speeding driver to pay it forward following heartfelt moment with Hanover police officer
A man from Wayne is looking to pay it forward after he shared an unexpected, but memorable encounter with a Hanover police officer.
On Monday, Rodney Feaster received an envelope from the Township of Hanover. He expected to get a speeding ticket, but says he received something that touched his heart.
"It was overwhelming,” Feaster told News 12. “I was filled with emotion, like it was a feeling I've never felt before.”
What Feaster received was a letter from Sgt. Anthony Vitanza, which read, “After listening to you tell your energetic story of recovery, and how proud you were of it, I decided not to issue you a traffic summons. Please drive carefully so that you can continue to help others.”
Feaster’s unforgettable meeting with Vitanza began last Wednesday around 11 p.m. when he left his job in Randolph as an addiction recovery specialist. He had received a call saying a guy potentially overdosed and they needed assistance - and he was available to help.
Feaster was driving about 90 mph with his phone in hand, trying to get to a stranger in crisis.
When he reached 287 at the Parsippany Road overpass, he was pulled over by Vitanza. Feaster told Vitanza where he was speeding to.
Feaster was told he'd get a ticket in the mail and drove off. He said he was willing to pay the ticket but grateful because of the life transformation he's had being he was in a Texas prison just six months prior.
Since 13, Feaster been using and selling drugs. After his second term in prison for a drug conviction, he suffered two heart attacks.
"You get out of prison everyone wants to party and I ended up having two heart attacks,” Feaster said.
While in the hospital, a cardiologist offered him a second chance. He listened, and the doctor helped him with a bus ticket to rehab, and he's made a career of helping others dealing with addiction.
During that traffic stop on 287, Vitanza also heard that story.
"I didn't think he deserved a ticket,” Vitanza said.
Feaster got out of having about six points added to his license.