LaVonte Bell of Westland Michigan was on his morning commute when he noticed blue and red flashers behind him. Bell recalled his stressful state to ABC News.
“I did pretty much what everyone does when they’re pulled over – heart dropped, went to my stomach,” Bell admitted.
Things didn’t look any better when rookie officer Joshua Scaglione approached the car only to notice that Bell’s 3-year-old daughter Lauren wasn’t in a car seat, a definite violation.
He asked me to step out of my vehicle to talk to him, and I was just so scared thinking this couldn’t be good.
– LaVonte Bell
Bracing for the worst
Rather than issuing Bell a ticket, Scaglione took time to listen to his story instead.
“The dad teared up a little and explained how he didn’t have the money to afford a car seat right now and that he had been running into some tough times,” Scaglione recalled.
What he did next was unexpected.
“So I said, ‘Hey, could you follow me to Walmart?’ and he was a little shocked and asked me, ‘For what?’ I told him I’d be more than happy to buy the car seat for him.”
And just like that, minutes later both Bell and Scaglione were in the kids’ isle, bantering like old buddies as they found the perfect pink butterfly seat for little Lauren. For Bell, it was surreal.
‘If you would have seen us in Walmart, you have thought we were best friends,’ he recalled in awe.
A big salute to service
However, there was just one problem: Bell didn’t get the officer’s name or badge number to thank him properly. And so, he took to Facebook to share the incredible story and hopefully track him down.
“Yesterday I was pulled over in Westland for my window tint. This stop was nothin’ like I thought it would be,” he opened as he described what happened.
The post went viral with over 15,000 likes, 5,000 shares, and over a thousand inspired comments.
“Policing done right. Serving and protecting. Thank you for setting the example!” celebrated one.
Another posted, “The little girl is precious! What a generous and kind officer to help a struggling father!”
Yet another put a perfect bow on it.
Beautiful and inspiring story. I thank both of you for showing how we should treat each other.
– Facebook commenter
Power of compassion
Most importantly, the post helped find officer Scaglione. Scaglione admitted that his action was the human thing to do.
“I’ve been in a tough situation like this guy before. I figured it’d be better to help him out and just raise more awareness about car safety rather than give him a ticket that would dig him deeper in a hole and make things worse for him,” he said.
Bell will forever be grateful. He thanked the officer from the bottom of his heart. Ultimately, the whole situation taught him a lifelong lesson.
Learn to never judge a book by its cover and realize there are still good people out there going above and beyond to protect you and make sure you’re still alright.
– LeVonte Bell
We live in an imperfect world comprised of imperfect people and imperfect police. However, it’s important to cast light on our limitless potential of compassion and, like Scaglione, courage to help someone in a remarkable way.
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Act with compassion
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” ― Plato
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