What Should I Have Done?

I was walking to the Metro station after work when a woman approached me. She was wearing a long camel-colored coat and carried a dark red bag.

Woman: Excuse me! Do you work over there? [Points to my office building.]

Me: Yes, I do.

Woman: Oh good. I just...I was just wondering if you could help me out. You see, I just moved to the area a few weeks ago. My mother is out-of-town and she let me borrow her car while she's gone, but I got into a car accident this afternoon. Yes, just a few blocks away.

Me: Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that.

Woman: No, it's all right. A German lady hit me and now my car is totalled. And I have no way of getting down to Leesburg [a town in Virginia about an hour south of DC]. That's where I live, you see, and I need to pick the kids up from the babysitter's.

Me: I'm sorry, but I don't have a car.

Woman: Oh, I didn't mean that! I talked to the police and they told me they couldn't give me a ride that far south. And oh, do you think you could help me out?

Me: I'm sorry...

Woman: There's a taxi-cab over there and he told me he can take me down to Leesburg for half-price. Could you help me out? Please?

Me: I don't have any cash on me.

Woman: There's an ATM right around the corner. You know, I work. I could pay you back tomorrow. I just need a ride.

Me: I'm sorry, but there an appointment I have to get to...

We parted ways and I was left feeling unsure about what I should have done. The entire time we talked I felt very uneasy. She kept touching my shoulder and telling me about all of the problems she faced earlier in the day---and I wasn't sure if I believed her. What made me uncomfortable the most was when she told me about a taxicab around the corner and I couldn't see any down the street. And what unsettled me further is that she was so quick to point out the location of the nearest ATM. I wonder if I had drawn money out for her---would she have asked for $40? Or $100?

Yet I also felt guilty. As a Mormon, I've been taught to "judge not" and to serve all people. Yet as a city-dweller, I also have to be careful. So did my actions demonstrate my callousness or my street-smarts? Did I do the right thing? I don't know...

I think since I felt uneasy from the start, I did what I thought was best at the moment. And when I got home, I wondered if there really was no other means for her to get home besides asking a perfect stranger on the street for money. Surely the police could have referred her to someone who could have taken her home? Weren't there be buses that went down to Leesburg? And if she did indeed have a job, shouldn't she have some cash at hand?

But then again, should I just have given her the money instead of judging her motivations? Perhaps she was telling the truth after all...