SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois State Police Trooper Dakotah Chapman-Green is on the road to recovery after being shot and beaten during a traffic stop. On Saturday, he got a unique show of support from a community he recently joined.
When Thomas Huber heard about Chapman-Green getting shot in the line of duty, he wanted to find a way to show his support. He didn’t know how to do it though, until he found out Chapman-Green owned a Jeep.
“It kind of hit hard for me, because my grandpa and uncle were both city officers here in Springfield for many years,” Huber said.
Jeep owners have their fair share of traditions. They have special waves and special clubs — but one in particular stands out: they leave each other rubber ducks.
“The message is one, nice Jeep, and two, hey, I was thinking about you and just kind of sending you Jeep love, you know,” attendee Shari Beahringer said.
When Huber found out Chapman-Green owned a Jeep, he decided to start a collection of rubber ducks for him. In the past few weeks, rubber ducks have poured in from not only across Illinois, but across the U.S. and even other countries.
“I think the furthest Donna told me was Ireland,” Huber said.
Chapman-Green showed up to Brewski’s Pub in Springfield to find the local Jeep club waiting for him with a literal pond full of ducks. He only had his Jeep for a few weeks before the attack at the end of October, so the gesture was quite the initiation into the tight-knit community.
“This is a very good initiation into the Jeep community,” said Susan Handy, Brewski’s Pub Manager. “Lots of ducks and lots of well wishes, and just everybody wants him to do well and recover well.”
Trooper Chapman-Green and his family declined an interview with WCIA due to the ongoing ISP investigation into the attack that left him hospitalized. He greeted the crowd, who welcomed him as a hero — and the newest member of their family.
Donations for Chapman-Green and his family can be made through the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation’s website. They can also be mailed to Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation, P.O. Box 2210, Springfield, Illinois 62705. If mailing a donation, officials ask to write that it’s for the “Trooper Chapman-Green Fund.”