The story of a couple and a homeless vet began with a gesture of generosity — and now they are embroiled in a legal battle over money.
Last November, Kate McClure ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in New Jersey. It was past midnight and the highway was deserted. But Johnny Bobbitt Jr., came to her aid.
With his last $20, the homeless Good Samaritan walked to a gas station to get her some fuel, the Associated Press reported.
As a token of appreciation, McClure and her partner, Mark D’Amico, created a GoFundMe campaign to repay Bobbitt for his selflessness.
“I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day,” McClure wrote at the time. “Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.”
Together the couple raised $400,000 in the fund-raising campaign, which she'd dubbed “Paying It Forward,” from people who were touched by the story and wanted to help Bobbitt.
But even as the campaign went viral, the couple left Bobbitt short-changed, his lawyer says.
"It completely shocked me when I heard," Chris Fallon told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "It came as a complete surprise to me."
Last week, Bobbitt successfully sued the couple, claiming they only gave him a portion of the money he was promised. A New Jersey judge ordered them to relinquish what was left of the cash to Bobbitt, the Associated Press reported.
Now, that money appears to be all gone, according to Fallon. He claims the couple spent his client's money on pricey vacations and a new BMW.
A lawyer for McClure and D'Amico says Bobbitt had stolen from the couple, even though they'd already given him $200,000.
They claimed they were reluctant to give him the full sum for fear he would spend it on drugs, according to the Inquirer.
Bobbitt’s lawyer maintains he'd only received about $75,000.
Bobbitt is preparing to enter a 28-day residential detoxification program for addiction treatment, the Inquirer reported.
[Photo: Getty Images]