TOLAND, Conn. — A native Polish Connecticut state police officer was surprised Wednesday when he responded to an SUV with a flat tire — a passenger who happened to be former Polish President Lech Walesa .
State police said Lucas Lippert arrived in Toland and was greeted by Walesa, who was speaking in Hartford on Tuesday as part of his U.S. tour advocating for a fight against Russia. aid to refugees fleeing Ukraine during the war.
Lippert, 35, who came to the United States at the age of 18, told the Hartford Gazette that he spoke with Walesa in Polish about their home country and the anti-communist movement that Walesa helped lead.
“It was definitely a great opportunity to meet someone who had a voice at that time,” Lippert said. “It was definitely a great experience.”
Walesa, 78, led Poland’s nationwide solidarity movement in the 1980s, culminating in the overthrow of Poland’s communist leader in the 1989 elections. He won the Nobel Prize in 1983 and was Poland’s first democratically elected president from 1990 to 1995. Critics of the current right-wing government in Poland.
A vehicle service crew changed the tires, and Walesa continued on I-84. His next stop is an event in Boston on Monday.