Let’s be honest. Most of us would have pocketed $2,000 in cash if we found it laying in a snowbank and no one else was around.
But East Boston resident Ryan Lee did the exact opposite when faced with the scenario mentioned above.
Two weeks ago Lee, an Eastie resident and employee at Project Bread, was shoveling out his car on Meridian Street the morning after the snowstorm when he noticed a plastic bag in the snowbank. Inside was large stack of crisp green bills totaling $2,000.
However, Lee, unlike most of us, didn’t pocket the cash and head off to work but instead thought he should turn it into the police station that was across the street from his car.
Lee later said he didn’t open the bag.
“It was raining, and it looked like there was money stacked one on top of the other,” he told reporters. “I thought I’d rather open it up in the police station than out in the rain.’’
“Ryan Lee is extremely honest East Boston resident,” said District 7 Captain Frank Mancini. “He walked into District Seven with a white plastic bag that he found in the snow containing over $2,000.00 in cash. Not many people would do what he did.”
Police were so stunned at Lee’s honesty that they came around from the front desk to shake the young man’s hand.
“It is nice to know that there are honest people living in the East Boston community,” said Mancini.
Also, found in the bag was a bank slip identifying the money belonging to the Shell gas station across the street from the police station. The money was immediately returned to the gas station attendant Javaid Altaf Butt who was found searching frantically along Meridian street for the bag of cash.
The story of Lee’s honesty reached Mayor Thomas Menino and on Friday the Mayor proclaimed Friday, February 11 as “Ryan Lee Day”.
“Ryan Lee has demonstrated the highest ethical standards in being a Good Samaritan and outstanding neighbor,” said Menino. “Lee honorably returned a large sum of money that he found on his neighborhood street and thanks to Lee’s actions, the money has been returned to its grateful owner. This young man embodies the integrity and character that Bostonians everywhere can be proud of.”