WWE wrestling star John Cena visited a Colorado Springs police officer in New York who was shot in the head in the line of duty in 2018.
In August 2018, Police Officer Cem Duzel was responding to a report of shots fired in a Colorado neighborhood when he was shot in the head by 31-year-old Karrar Al Khammasi, who was reportedly "due to be deported in 2016 until an immigration court halted his removal, citing a federal appeals court decision that invalidated the grounds of his deportation," according to The Gazette. After spending several months at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, Duzel was released on Sept. 24 and returned home to his family in New York, according to KDVR-TV.
As Duzel recovered from his injury, the Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) posted photos to social media of a John Cena action-figure doing various activities around their office in an effort to get the real-life wrestling superstar to visit their wounded comrade.
And you know what? It worked!
“Remember all those posts of a John Cena figurine showing up around the police station, encouraging the WWE star to visit Officer Duzel in person?” the CSPD wrote in a Facebook post. “Well, it finally happened!”
The WWE posted the encounter on Twitter:
Last Friday, @JohnCena visited with @CSPDPIO Officer Cem Duzel who is recovering from a near-fatal injury. The #Cenation leader traded in his traditional threads and sported a "4901 Warrior On" t-shirt representing Officer Duzel’s badge number. #NeverGiveUp pic.twitter.com/QS0njbXZWy— WWE (@WWE) September 29, 2019
Duzel reportedly considers Cena to be his “hero” and just “couldn’t stop smiling” during his meeting with him.
“We are truly truly grateful that he made the trip out here just to visit Cem,” Duzel’s father told the station. “It was a surprise call. We’ve been trying to get in touch with John Cena for a long time and all of a sudden we got a call last night and they said he was heading to New York and he wanted to come by and see Cem. We were beyond excited.”
“Cem can’t really say much,” he continued. “It was a really nice visit. Cena said, ‘you are the perfect candidate for that, living my motto. Never give up. You are not giving up. You’re fighting.’”
Cena brought a copy of his championship belt for Cem. Mumtaz [Duzel’s father] said, 'What a nice man. It was so uplifting and a wonderful visit. It made us all happy. Cem is just beside himself, he can’t stop smiling, just like me. Honestly I must admit I did not know the extent to which John Cena does for law enforcement officers, military and Make a Wish Foundation. I can’t say nicer things about the man. We need more people like him.'