LaVonte Dell of Michigan said one officer changed his perception of police after he went out of his way to help Dell and his 3-year-old daughter.
Dell was driving through Westland, Michigan, on April 18 when he was pulled over by a police officer, WXYZ reports.
"When he hit the lights, I did what probably everybody would do," Dell said. "Heart dropped. Went to my stomach."
Dell suspected he was being pulled over due to his tinted windows. He was right, but officer Joshua Scaglione noticed something else when he walked up to the vehicle.
Dell’s 3-year-old daughter Lauren was in the back of the vehicle with no car seat.
"I asked him why is she back there without a car seat," Scaglione told the news station. "It's not safe. He teared up a little bit and told me he was going through some tough times."
Dell said he expected the worst when Scaglione asked him to step out of the vehicle, but instead, he got a helping hand.
"I related to the fact that I've been in that situation before," Scaglione explained. "I realized this was the perfect opportunity to help him."
Instead of giving Dell a ticket, Scaglione told him to follow him to Walmart. He then bought Dell a car seat for his daughter.
"You would have thought we were best friends," Dell recalled of the Walmart trip with Scaglione. "No awkward silence. I learned about him. He learned about me."
"[Dell] seems like blue collar hard working guy who was doing the best he could for his family," Scaglione said.
Dell realized they had parted ways before he could get the officer’s name. He shared the story on Facebook in an attempt to track him down, and the Westland Police Community Partnership reposted his message on April 20. That post has since gone viral, garnering over 3,500 likes and 1,300 shares in just one day.
"I feel like [Scaglione] should get the recognition," Dell told WXYZ. "Everyone should know what he did.
" ... Don't judge a book by its cover. You'd be surprised what comes of it."