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Police step up to help man who walked 30 miles in sub-zero temps to court

LILBURN, Ga. (WKRC) -- On the coldest day in nearly two decades, a man walked 30 miles for a court appearance on a traffic citation.

Lilburn police say the man, who would only identify himself as James to WSB-TV, walked from a downtown Atlanta shelter to the Lilburn Municipal Court for a traffic ticket.

The man told Lilburn Police Officer Andy Blimline that he received a ticket for a crash, but his car was totaled. That was why he needed to walk to court starting at 1:00 a.m.

James said he was afraid a warrant would be issued if he didn't show up.

"No way to get up there, so I walked," he told WSB-TV. "As soon as the air hit my lungs it took my breath away because of the wind. That was the major thing, the wind."

Police said they aren't sure how he survived the 8-hour journey because temperatures that morning plunged to 6 degrees, the coldest temperature since 1996, with wind chills below zero.

James started to make the 30-mile trek home following his court appearance, but Blimline offered to pay for a cab.

The man adamantly refused according to a police spokesman said, but Blimline and several other officers chipped in to pay for the $80 ride.

"You could see in the man's eyes that he was genuinely touched, as I was," said Lt. Chris Dusik. "I'm truly proud of how Officer Blimline represented the city."

Thomas reported that the man's public defender did not show up for the court appearance.

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