Watch the video below for the interview with the boy and the police officer!
Video credit: WOOD TV8
Police officers are trained to be keenly observant and to pay attention to details. After all, their lives and the lives of innocent people often depend on these skills. However, they are also useful for spotting things other than potential dangers or criminals.
A young police officer named Austin Lynema performed an act of everyday heroism by simply noticing when someone needed a friend.
The 22-year-old Lynema was on patrol in a Grand Rapids neighborhood on February 22 when he noticed a little boy running after a school bus, reported WOOD-TV.
Nine-year-old Thomas Daniel was in tears as Lynema approached him and asked if he needed help. Thomas was an avid student and was crushed at missing the bus and potentially skipping a day of school.
“I started crying because I missed the bus,” Thomas told WOOD-TV. “I wanted to get to school really fast so I can do my work at school.”
The boy’s mother didn’t have a car so the police officer asked permission from her to drive Thomas himself and that included doing everything he could to cheer the boy up.
“Once we showed up to school, my lights were on and everything … He was all grins,” he told CNN.
Sensing that there was more to Thomas’s story, Lynema discovered that the boy was being bullied at school and was also worried that no one would show up at his birthday party that afternoon.
Lynema then decided to surprise Thomas by showing up at his party. He even brought along his partner to the event. But when they arrived, the officers realized that no one else had come. Not only that, Thomas had no presents nor a birthday cake.
But the young boy was thrilled that Lynema and his partner had shown up.
“I was so happy to see Austin,” Thomas told WOOD-TV.
But the policemen decided that it wasn’t enough and they had to do something special for the boy.
So the next morning, Lynema and several of his colleagues bought Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and gave Thomas another birthday bash.
“We weren’t going to let a 9-year-old not have a party,” Lynema said, according to CNN.
Thomas has since expressed his desire to become a police officer himself when he gets older. Lynema has also been blessed by that newfound friendship.
“As an officer, you meet thousands of people and half the time you don’t ever see these people again,” he said. “But I’m glad that I get to see Thomas again and again.”
The unlikely connection between the two has captured hearts in the local community. CNN also reported that since the birthday party, Thomas has made new friends at school and will be attending a friend’s birthday party with Lynema accompanying him.
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