‘I’d make a lousy superhero’: Student does good deed

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Cassidy Alexander

Video by Cassidy Alexander

Al Huffman was heading to the gym for a workout, thinking about things other than the boundaries between right and wrong, when he was stopped by a wad of cash laying in a flowerbed next to the sidewalk.

“Without thinking I just kind of pick it up, and I was like ‘okay I gotta turn this in somewhere before somebody sees I picked it up and gets the wrong idea,’” Huffman, a senior majoring in communication, said. Huffman found $180 lying on the ground on June 7, with no potential owner in sight.

“And that’s when the anxiety kicked in and I was convinced that I just interfered with some drug deal’s dead drop and I was going to get shanked in the parking lot once I left the gym.”

Rather than pocketing the money and fleeing the scene, Huffman took the money into the gym and turned it in.

On the same day, another student had reported $200 missing from his gym cubbie. Police spoke with Huffman and determined that the money he found was not the same as what the victim lost.

While Huffman’s actions may seem unusual, he has faith that others would do the same thing in his shoes.

“If you ask [students] randomly in the street, I think a lot of them would say ‘no, I’d keep the money,’” Huffman said. “But then I think it’s just kind of different when you’re actually put in the situation — it really brings out the best in people usually, and people tend to do the right decision a lot more than even they would think.”

Barbara Dupuis, Office Manager for the UNF Police Department, oversees the Lost and Found, which sees money turned in more often than people might expect.

“We had $2200 turned in one time,” Dupuis said, explaining that someone had just cashed their scholarship refund and lost it. Sometimes though, she sees as little as $20 turned in.

“There’s always that good samaritan out there,” Dupuis said. “It makes me happy to think that people would turn it in.”

People who have lost money don’t come by to see if it was turned in very often, though Dupuis encourages people to call if they’ve lost any. Money that is not claimed is donated back to UNF to fund scholarships.

Huffman says that although he could have definitely used the money, he would still turn it in every time.

“I’d make a lousy superhero, but it feels good to do the right thing I guess.”

 

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