Police are searching a woman described as being in her early to mid 40s, 5-foot-8, with blond hair. But they don't know her name or where she lives. She's not wanted for a crime, but for her compassion. Innae Park has this story of the season.
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – It's a story that even those who have decades of experience in law enforcement haven't seen before. A gift of $1,000 in cash given to a trooper anonymously, but he can't and doesn’t keep it.
“I was so blown away by his integrity. He didn't have to. Nobody saw, you know what I mean? But he was great,” said Carol Bohl, a Guilderland resident.
Captain William Keeler of the New York State Police said, “He has an excellence of character that he never even had a passing thought that this is something he could or would actually keep.”
They're talking about Trooper Christopher Maniscalco, who has been stationed at the Guilderland satellite unit for six years.
“Never in a million years would I have expected anything,” he said.
The giving happened Sunday evening on Oak Tree Lane in Guilderland. Maniscalco was responding to a call when a woman pulled up in a van.
“She hands me a card. At that point, I said, ‘I really appreciate this, you don't have to do that,’” he described.
Maniscalco later opened it to find the cash. He immediately turned it in. State Police members are not allowed to receive gifts. Now the barracks hopes the good giver will come forward to take the cash back and donate it to another good cause.
However, if the money isn't collected within a year, State Police say it will be deposited into the state general fund. And the brave men and women for whom it was intended will not benefit from it at all.
Even so, Mansicalco is thankful.
“I received more than anybody could ever ask for during the holiday season,” he said. “And that's knowing that I'm doing my job well enough that somebody feels that kind of a gift is acceptable.”
Based on what many know about the man, they believe it's only fitting the Guilderland Trooper would be the recipient.
Resident Gina Spadaro said, “He's a nice guy, always coming around, a very outgoing, friendly guy.”
“It made an impact on us,” said Bohl, who witnessed the exchange Sunday. “We've been telling a bunch of people.”
However, the Trooper refuses to take any credit.
“This woman is a hero to me,” Maniscalco said firmly.
State Police would like the woman to come forward. They'd like to thank her and also have her donation be used for a better purpose. If you know her, you’re asked to call Troop G in Latham, N.Y. at (518) 783-3211.