Grateful woman meets man who turned in $10,000 cash found in her purse on UWS subway platform

LINCOLN CENTER, Manhattan (WABC) -- A grateful woman met the man who turned in $10,000 in cash that she lost on the subway last month on Manhattan's Upper West Side

Aiya Tulemaganbetova left a Chanel bag filled with hundred dollar bills on a bench at the 66th Street subway stop of the 1 train.

She lives in Manhattan now but is from Kazakhstan and was headed there on vacation. Most businesses in Kazakstan don't accept American credit cards, so she had to bring all that cash with her in order to buy her children gifts for the holidays.

Richard Taverna found the bag and turned it in to an officer at the 20th Precinct, who at first didn't seem impressed.

"Very matter of fact," Taverna said. "And then I said, 'Oh, by the way, it has $10,000 in it,' and she turned around and said, 'Sarge, come here!'"

The two met for the first time Thursday, as Tulemaganbetova expressed her gratitude to Taverna.

She presented him with a statue of Kazakhstan's Golden Man, guaranteed to bring happiness as long as you only touch it once, so the legend goes.

Taverna accepted it as a thank you for bringing the bag to police.

"It was the right thing to do, and I truly think most people would have done it," he said.

"It made everyone in this precinct so happy to know that there's guys like Rich out there," said NYPD Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin.

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