Officer Ricky Howard frequently patrols the southeast side of Fort Wayne, Indiana, but on Nov. 26, he interrupted his normal duties in order to help a very young citizen in need.
“He basically was running and his shoes weren’t tied and I said, ‘hey little man, you need to tie your shoes,’ he said, ‘I don’t know how’ and I said, ‘do you want me to do it?’ and he got real happy about it, said ‘yeah’, I got out, tied his shoes and I left, that’s it,” Howard told WANE.
Melissa Caballero snapped a photo of the encounter and posted it on Facebook on Nov. 26.
“Thank you officer for showing our youth that cops aren't always the bad guys they are made out to be!” she wrote alongside the photo.
Howard, a 29-year veteran of the force, said isn’t sure who the little boy is and added that he’s stunned by all of the attention.
“You get to know basically everybody out there, kids love cops, so this is what we do,” he told WANE.
Howard’s wife, Freta, said she's happy her husband’s good deed is receiving attention.
“I’m amazed first of all and there’s just a myriad of emotions,” she said. “This was a random act of kindness that my husband did and it’s just blown up and it’s becoming hopefully contagious.
" ... All of us can make a difference, a positive difference. It was a big thing for that little kid, maybe he’s the next police officer, police chief, who knows.”
For Howard, it’s a good way to end his career. He plans on retiring in January.