INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - A Missouri police officer whose Facebook post about a teenager’s act of kindness went viral last week was able to identify the teen and return the kindness by treating him and his mother to dinner.
“Well this kiddo who I have only known a short time already means the world to me,” Officer Holt said in a Facebook post on the Independence Police Department page. “As promised after finding him I took him out to dinner. He and his wonderful mom Ebony enjoyed some Red Lobster.”
Officer Holt of the Independence Police Department snapped a photo last weekend as he witnessed a young man hop out of the back seat of a van and take off his coat to shield an elderly woman whom he did not appear to know from a heavy downpour as she walked to her car.
The Independence Police Department posted the photo to its Facebook page on Aug. 26 with a written message from Holt, who said that the experience “set (him) back a little.”
“With all the hate fueled by color, belief, sexual preference or race it actually pisses me off. Why, because most of it is based off what they read in the papers. Most isn’t based-off personal experiences,” Officer Holt wrote. “This kid cared less about race, religion or color. The only thing this kid cared about was being kind.”
Holt said he was impressed and touched by the teen’s actions and concluded the message with a promise, “Kiddo If you see me on the street again this guy owes ya a dinner. You ever need anything I will come running to ya.”
The Independence Police Department’s Facebook post went viral — it has been shared thousands of times — and one of the teen’s family members saw the post and called the department, according to an update on the Facebook page Tuesday.
The young man was identified as 14-year-old Tyrea, and Holt was able to get in contact with him and his mother.
Holt made good on the promise from his original message and treated Tyrea and his mom, Ebony, to dinner over the weekend.