When Casey Spelman approached a blind man after a ball game, she took him by the hand and dragged him away from where he was standing. However, she had no idea that someone had caught her actions on camera. And later the images took the internet by storm.
Spelman comes from Indianapolis, Indiana. One weekend in June 2017, the then 26-year-old travelled 180 miles to explore Chicago, Illinois, with some friends. And high on Spelman’s list of things to do was to check out the Wrigleyville district.
When Spelman visited the neighborhood, though, she found it overrun with Chicago Cubs fans. Hordes of people were spilling out of Wrigley Field following a baseball game. But as the tourist moved through the crowds of sports fans, little did she know that someone was watching her.
That person was Ryan Hamilton – who by chance was also from Indianapolis. And he too was on a trip to Chicago that weekend. At that point, he was watching the masses of people from a rooftop close to the baseball stadium.
And it was from that vantage point that Hamilton first noticed Spelman. Indeed, there was something about the way that the stranger was acting which caught his eye. As a result, he found himself watching as Spelman approached a Cubs fan beneath him.
Hamilton continued to observe as Spelman took the man by the hand and led him to the road. Once they were at the curbside, she stuck out her other arm and started hailing a cab. That was when Hamilton noticed something about the man to whom she was clinging: he was blind.
Hamilton was so impressed by his fellow Hoosier’s actions, in fact, that he decided to pull out his camera and snap a few images of her good deed. His photographs documented both the moment that Spelman plucked the man from the crowd, as well as the point when she delivered him safely to a cab.
Following the incident, Hamilton decided to share the images of Spelman with the world. Posting on Facebook in 2017, he wrote, “Wanted to give a shout-out to this girl. No idea who she is, but we are in Wrigleyville on the rooftop of Old Crow Smokehouse.”
Explaining what happened next, Hamilton continued, “There was a blind Cubs fan trying to hail a cab for several minutes, until the lady came up and asked him if he needed help hailing a cab. She stood there with him until one pulled up.”
At the end of his heartwarming post, Hamilton added that Spelman’s selfless actions had brightened up his day. “Awesome to see such kindness in a world that the media portrays so much hate in,” he added. “Share freely in hopes that her kindness spreads.”
And with Hamilton’s encouragement, it didn’t take long for the inspiring post to go viral. In fact, it has since clocked up more than 13,000 shares and 38,000 reactions. People hailed the woman in Hamilton’s pictures as a hero, but the vast majority of them didn’t know who she was.
It was the media who later revealed Spelman’s identity, in fact, and Hamilton was glad that she finally received her moment in the spotlight. “There’s so much negative stuff going on in the world and this was the opposite of that,” Hamilton subsequently told FOX59. “It’s cool she’s getting the recognition, but you could tell that’s not why she did it.”
Later, Spelman clarified that viral fame was the last thing on her mind when she stepped in to help the stranger that day. “You know, it just was not really a big deal,” she explained, adding that she’d just acted on instinct.
Spelman had first noticed the man among the throngs of baseball fans in the street. She could tell that he’d been waiting a while and feared that he was getting a little lost in the crowd. “People were in front of him, so I thought it might help him a little bit if he stepped in a little further,” she explained.
Recalling her uplifting encounter with the blind man, Spelman added, “I just said, ‘Hi are you trying to get a cab,’ and he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Would you like some help?’ and he said, ‘That’d be great.’”
As Spelman helped the man, she had no idea that Hamilton was watching her from the restaurant rooftop. Recalling how he felt witnessing the incident, Hamilton later said, “I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is really cool. I’ve never seen something like this.’”
After delivering the stranger to a taxi, Spelman didn’t even get chance to ask the man his name. “He said, ‘Give me a hug,’ and I gave him a big hug, and he said, ‘God bless you and have a great night.’ And I said, ‘Thank you, you too.’” she recalled.
Given the attention that Spelman’s kindness received, however, it didn’t take long for the stranger to come forward. He was later identified as Yusef Dale, and he was happy that so much positive attention was coming his helper’s way.
Speaking to FOX59, Dale said, “Not only was she kind enough to see and observe that perhaps I was having difficulty, but she handled it well. She did precisely what people who are blind like to be offered.”
And now that the kind stranger was getting the recognition that she deserved, Dale took the opportunity to reiterate his gratitude. “Thank you very much for stopping and certainly the help was appreciated,” he said. “She was kind. She had good energy.”