For one Arizona teenager, a curfew violation yielded a thoughtful gift, instead of a citation, from Tempe Police officers who realized the boy could use a little help.
KTVK News reports officer Brett Sauer first met the boy — who has only been identified by his first name, Tyler — when he responded with a handful of other officers to a call about a group of teenagers skateboarding near a light rail station at 2:30 a.m.
The officers rounded up the teens and returned them to their homes where police discussed curfew violations with the teens and their parents.
But Sauer told KTVK in a videotaped interview (shown below) that Tyler was “dumbfounded” when the officers returned to his house later in the morning and gave him a new skateboard.
Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley told KTAR News that the officers quickly realized Tyler was not out causing trouble the morning he was picked up; he just preferred to be out playing rather than staying at home.
"When the officers dropped him off, they saw that he didn't like to be at home because of the conditions that were at home," Pooley said. "It is one of those things that he wanted to be out with his friends, he wanted to be out away from his environment.”
Sauer told KTVK he was touched by Tyler’s gentle demeanor and decided he wanted to do something nice for the boy.
“The skateboard that the kid had had been broken, it was all chipped up and just mangled,” he said.
So Sauer and the other officers all pitched in to buy Tyler a new board.
They showed back up at Tyler’s door a few hours later, at 6 a.m., and gave him the gift.
“It was awesome, you could really see how shocked he was,” Sauer said. “He had never received a gift quite like that.”
Sauer told KTVK that he was happy to brighten the boy’s day.
“You look back on people's lives you've changed and helped out, that's what makes this job worth it to me,” he said.