No good deed goes unpunished. A Canadian man found himself locked up for psychiatric evaluation this week after he went around handing out money.
Metro News reported last week that "dozens" of people have said they had received money from a "mystery man" who told them to "thank God" for the free gift. He told them that, if they did not need the money, to pass it along to someone who did.
A woman named June Bond got two $50 bills from the Robin Hood character. She then passed some of that along to an older couple buying groceries.
“He said if you don’t need it, pass it along. That sticks in the head,” Bond said. “I think he’s doing the world good. It opened my eyes.”
Some people had questioned whether the man might be mentally unsound, and wondered if folks should be taking the money. But Bev Cadham of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s local branch in Halifax said the man had approached two people with their program and that she doesn't think he is mentally ill.
“He’s a generous individual and is wrapped up in the acts of kindness, and is wanting to help people,” Cadham said.
Nonetheless, Metro News follows up that police have been on the lookout for the man. When he was spotted Monday driving his car, they pulled him over and questioned him. The man's name is Richard Wright from Prince Edward Island, and he says he's done nothing wrong.
Sgt. Leanne Butler said Prince Edward Island RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) were called to do a "wellness check" on Wright.
“The officers concluded that the gentleman should go to the hospital for further assessment by a medical health person,” she said.
Pierre Bourdages, spokesman for Halifax Regional Police, said officers had called for the mental health crisis team, but after speaking with him they determined there was no cause for further action.
“I can tell you this individual didn’t break any laws,” Bourdages said.
Wright's daughter says her father had just returned from a vacation in Halifax where he had given away money that he worked hard to save. She took pictures of her father in the mental health ward and posted them on Facebook. Since the news broke, people who had received money from the generous man are coming forward.
Jennifer Corbett received $150 from Wright, and says his positive comments stuck with her.
“I don’t think it’s fair that this happened,” Corbett said. “I mean do you think that people are going to want to do good after this?”
A Facebook group called #OpFreeRichardWright, dedicated to supporting Richard Wright, has been started. There are currently over 3600 members.
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