Cincinnati officer hailed for helping sisters with dementia get home safe: VIDEO

The women were seen driving the wrong way on a busy thoroughfare in Downtown Cincinnati.
Officer Norman with Officer Lowe, Mildred and Evelyn
Officer Norman with Officer Lowe, Mildred and Evelyn(Cincinnati Police Department)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 3:57 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer is being lauded by the department and the community days after helping two women with dementia out of a dangerous situation downtown.

CPD detailed the incident in a recent Facebook post that’s gone viral across the city.

According to CPD, Officer Shayna Norman was on patrol last Tuesday, April 6, when she noticed a minivan driving the wrong way down Vine Street on Central Parkway.

Norman flashed her lights and blipped her siren, but the minivan only stopped after she pulled up beside it, honked her horn several times and motioned with her hands for the driver to pull over.

The driver was an 81-year-old woman named Mildred, with her 84-year-old sister Evelyn in the back seat — police declined to reveal their surnames.

Mildred wasn’t aware she’d done anything wrong. And, as Norman soon learned, she didn’t know where she was going either. Mildred told Norman she was driving home but, according to police, she couldn’t say where exactly home was.

“I just hope you’re going to get home okay,” Norman said to the women, per body cam footage released Tuesday. “I am not going to write you a ticket or anything like that. I just want to make sure you get home safe.”

Norman called for backup. She would drive the women home in the minivan while another officer trailed behind.

Unfortunately, that plan became unworkable with the key fob nowhere to be found.

While waiting on a tow truck, Norman asked Mildred about her children, to which Mildred replied she had a 10-year-old daughter.

Any doubts the officer still held about whether Mildred was suffering from dementia were, at this point, fading quickly.

An address lookup on the vehicle registration led Norman, with the help of dispatchers, to Mildred’s daughter, Tonya Barnett. On the phone Barnett told Norman she was with police in District 5 in the process of reporting the sisters missing.

Barnett confirmed both women suffer from demential, police say.

District 5 police then drove Barnett to the scene, where she reunited with her aunt and mother.

According to police, earlier that day, Barnett had driven to a College Hill salon with her aunt and mother in tow. She’d left the minivan on while dipping inside to pick something up, allowing Mildred to get into the driver’s seat and drive away.

Thankfully, and with the help of Cincinnati police, Mildred and Evelyn were able to return home safely.

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