On a Connecticut highway, a Polish-speaking state trooper is called to help the occupants of a vehicle with a flat tire. To his amazement... the passenger is former Polish president and Nobel peace laureate Lech Walesa.
Connecticut state police on Wednesday were alerted to a disabled SUV on Interstate Highway 84 in Tolland, northeast of the state capital Hartford.
Upon arrival at the scene, they quickly surmised the passenger -- sporting his trademark robust mustache -- was a bit of a celebrity.
"You never know who you will meet as a State Trooper!" state police joked Thursday in a Facebook post recounting the incident.
Lukasz Lipert, a 35-year-old native of Poland, was called in for backup when a fellow trooper realized who Walesa was, the Hartford Courant reported. He helped ensure safety while a mechanic changed the tire.
Lipert, who came to the United States when he was 18, was "beyond grateful for the opportunity to help such an influential individual, and briefly speak to him about the history of Poland," the police Facebook post said.
The Hartford Courant reported that the conversation, in Polish, centered around "their homeland and the anti-communist movement in which the 78-year-old Walesa was a key figure."
"It was definitely a great opportunity to meet the man who had a voice during those times," Lipert told the newspaper.
Walesa -- the co-founder of Poland's Solidarity labor movement who led a landmark 1980 strike by thousands of shipyard workers -- became his country's first post-war democratically elected president in 1990.
He was in Connecticut working on relief efforts for Ukraine.