WASHINGTON - A couple of D.C. police officers went above and beyond the call of duty this week as a 12-year-old boy needed some help fixing his bike. But they did much more than that and it is an experience this young teenager will never forget.
Robert Thompson was riding his bike on Wednesday and ended up riding into some trouble.
"I lost control going down the hill and my whole bike broke down," he recalled. "That's how I lost control and I hit the gate. That's when my back wheel, it like flipped over, and that's when it started scraping the side."
D.C. Police Sgt. Robert Parker was outside the First District police station when he saw Thompson walking his bike and noticed it wasn't in good shape. So he and another detective at the station decided to help him out.
"When he came in with Sgt. Parker, I was just impressed by how friendly he was," said Detective Chris Bastian. "He was asking us a lot of questions about what went on in this office. We got down to work to try to fix his bike."
"We walked down to the firehouse and put air in the tire," said Sgt. Parker. "On our way back, we heard something go, 'Poof!' The tire just went flat, so we brought it back here to the office. We told the kid, Robert - 'Little man, we've got some bad news for you. The tire is flat, but we're going to fix it for you. Come back tomorrow and we'll have it ready for you.'"
But the detectives said they wanted to do more for the boy.
According to Parker, "Chris looked down at the bike and said, 'Man, this kid doesn't have any brakes. The pedal is broke. Why don't we just send an email out to the people in the office and buy him a new bike?'"
It didn't take long as everyone in the office stepped up and the detectives quickly had enough money to buy Thompson a new bike. They surprised him the following day with the new ride along with a helmet that he promised to wear with it.
"He was just smiling from ear to ear," said Sgt. Parker.
The detectives simply wanted to do something nice for the happy 12-year-old, but the gift represents much more.
"Every time someone asks him or says something about the police or something negative about the police, he will have his story that he can tell them, which is a positive story."
It is an act of kindness Thompson will never forget.
"They help people, and when you need help, they will come," he said.