Jacksonville, Florida Sheriff’s Officer Derek Pratico responded to a car theft earlier this year in an incredible way.
When Pratico spoke with the owner of the stolen car, she was distraught for more than one reason. The first and obvious reason is that her car had been stolen. But she was also upset about what was in the car when the thief drove off with it: her young son’s birthday present.
The owner told Pratico that she could not afford to replace the present. For a while, it looked like the child would go without a gift on his birthday this year.
Pratico had other plans.
The next day, Pratico returned to the woman’s house, but he did not come empty-handed. He had purchased a new present, a card and cake for the boy, and a $100 gift card for the mother. The best part? He bought it all with his own money.
“I believe children deserve presents on their birthday,” Pratico told First Coast News. “That’s just the way I was raised.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office shared a photo of Pratico and the boy with their story in the caption. The photo has gone viral since, and now has over 113,000 likes.
After his gesture received so much attention, Pratico felt the need to say he never wanted recognition for it.
"I did not do this for any recognition,” he said. “I just felt it was the right thing to do at that moment."