Impacted by coronavirus crisis, small family-owned business aided by Utah police officer

“I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart. He has definitely helped a small business see much more faith.”

During this Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, many small businesses, especially restaurants, are clinging to their economic lives by their proverbial fingertips.

This is all too true for the owners of a Vietnamese restaurant called Sumo in West Valley, Utah. The manager (the owners’ daughter), Tammy Nguy, told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City, “We aren’t even able to have employees right now. We’ve laid everyone off.”

So, Nguy was delighted when someone called in a $100 order. Unfortunately, the order for about a dozen sushi rolls made with freshly delivered fish was an apparent prank. Nguy tried repeatedly to recontact the person who placed the order, but with no luck.

The caller eventually blocked her phone. But, amid this adversity the restaurant could not afford, Nguy experienced a touch of grace in the form of a West Valley City cop.

Distressed, Nguy called 911 to report the fraud. That’s when Officer Danny Christiansen responded to their restaurant. He told Fox 13, “I knew there was no way I could fix their problem. It was just upsetting to know they had prepared all of this food that was never going to get paid for.” Did the officer say, “never”?

Though Officer Christiansen said he doesn’t even like sushi, he purchased the order himself. He said, “I was able to provide some meals for some of my coworkers. It felt good, and it helped me go about my day with a lot better of an attitude.”

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Nguy said, “I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart. He has definitely helped a small business see much more faith.”

Officer Christiansen is a marvelous example of what police officers are doing all across the country during these unusual times—and even during the usual times. Making things just a bit better for the folks they serve and protect, perhaps giving them the boost they need that just may help get them through this hardship.

meet the author

Steve Pomper is a retired Seattle police officer. He's served as a field training officer and on the East Precinct Community Police Team. He's the author of four books, including "De-Policing America: A Street Cop's View of the Anti-Police State." He's also a contributor to the National Police Association.

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