Upstate mom: Interaction between 4-year-old son, deputy 'forever - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate mom: Interaction between 4-year-old son, deputy 'forever changed my outlook'

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Nicholes with his gift from Deputy Scott Heath (Source: Nicole Rector) Nicholes with his gift from Deputy Scott Heath (Source: Nicole Rector)
Nicholes with his gift from Deputy Scott Heath (Source: Nicole Rector) Nicholes with his gift from Deputy Scott Heath (Source: Nicole Rector)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Nicole Rector said before an incident in a parking lot on Woodruff Road in October, she was apprehensive of law enforcement.

On Oct. 21, Rector shared a Facebook post that is going viral about the interaction between her 4-year-old son and a Greenville County sheriff's deputy. She said they were in a parking lot behind the McDonald's on Woodruff near Highway 14 when her son Nicholes saw the deputy, who was in the middle of a vehicle search.

According to Rector, Nicholes said, "Mommy look! An officer.. I want to give him a hug!"

She said she was apprehensive when she rolled down her window, especially after incidents involving officers and race drawing attention around the country. But for her boy, she whispered, "My son saw you and wanted to give you a hug... Would you be open to it?"

"At that moment I was frozen with fear as again within recent months I have been conditioned to NOT trust anything with a badge," she said.

What happened next shocked her.

Rector said the officer's face lit up up and he embraced Nicholes like his own child, despite being a stranger who looked nothing like them.

"It dawned on me," Rector said. "No matter what happens... There are some officers who are really here to protect and serve ALL!"

The deputy also gave Nicholes a tour of his patrol car and put a Deputy Sheriff badge on him. He asked for the family's address and Rector said a few days later, he personally delivered a gift to the boy.

The gift included a note with the following message:

To Nicholes,

Your hug and kindness has been a fond memory for me ever since you were nice enough to stop and say hello. Always stay joyful!

Your friend,

Scott Heath

"That officer deserves some recognition," Rector said. "He was awesome!'

Below is the full post from Nicole Rector which has gained more than 1,000 reactions and shares:

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