Viral video: Texas officer stops to play catch with young boy
Posted by Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer - email
If you have seen the video of an officer tossing a football with a little boy he didn't know at an apartment complex in Rosenberg, you're one of about a million. (KTRK via CNN)
ROSENBERG, TX (KTRK/CNN) -
A Rosenberg police officer whose game of catch has gone viral says his job is all about interacting with the community.
If you have seen the video of an officer tossing a football with a little boy he didn't know at an apartment complex in Rosenberg, you're one of about a million.
The kinds of dashcam videos we usually see are police chases and general mayhem, which makes this dashcam video remarkable and unforgettable.
The officer's act of kindness has melted hearts around the world, so we wanted to introduce you to him: Sgt. Ariel Soltura.
Soltura said he was on patrol Saturday afternoon when he noticed the boy throwing the ball by himself. So, he slowed down.
"And I saw he was throwing up a football, and I could tell he was playing by himself," Soltura recalled. "He didn't have anybody to play with. He wasn't just waiting for more kids to arrive."
Soltura could have just continued driving. Instead, he stopped.
"I literally got out of the car. I did like this, which is the universal sign of 'throw me the football,' and at that time you just saw his face lit up, and he was ready to play," Soltura said. "At that time, he and I both connected. We began to throw the football. You can see that I'm obviously trying to get him to go along, and so we're just playing a game of catch, and it was awesome."
They were two men, as Soltura said, playing football on a perfect day.
Rosenberg PD posted the dashcam video on Facebook that day, saying "While a 2 minute game of football might not mean anything, to some it could mean everything! #ReachThemBeforeTheWolvesDo." That post received close to 3,000 likes and 4,000 shares in fewer than 24 hours.
Truth be told, Soltura said, it's part of the department's emphasis on community policing -- not as adversaries, but as neighbors -- and what was captured on this dashcam video has gone viral in a good way.
"It was cool that the public got to see what police officers do on a daily basis," Soltura said. "If we see a kid kicking the can, they want us to go out there and replace that can with a ball, and hopefully we've made an impact on these kids' futures for the rest of their lives."
On this day and in this place, you could say that's what happened -- all because of a kid with a football without anyone to throw it to until a police officer arrived and threw it long.
"It's important because we all live in this world together," Soltura said. "We all make an impact in this world and make it a better place."
Wednesday, March 12 2014 12:53 PM EDT2014-03-12 16:53:47 GMT
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