While shopping at a grocery store, an Alabama police officer noticed something amiss about a teen’s shoe. Initially, he dismissed it as a “fashion statement.” When he finally decided to ask the young man about it, the answer he received wasn’t anything the cop was expecting.
Cpl. Sebastian Goldman, an 18-year-veteran with the Hueytown police, was picking up some groceries for jail inmates at a local Alabama supermarket when he noticed something amiss about a young man’s right shoe. Initially, Cpl. Goldman dismissed it as a fashion statement, but he realized what it really was after he took just a minute to talk with the teen.
Goldman was in Hueytown’s Food Giant when he was approached by a 19-year-old store employee, who wanted to help the cop take his groceries out to his patrol car during a torrential downpour. Goldman gladly obliged the young man’s offer, and as the two were walking through the parking lot, the cop couldn’t help but notice the boy’s unusual “fashion statement.” Around the toe of his right shoe was a thick layer of duct tape.
When Goldman asked the young man about it, he got a response he definitely wasn’t expecting, then he took immediate action. “I looked at him and said, ‘What’s up with duct tape?'” Goldman recalled, according to Al.com. “Is that something all the kids are doing? A fashion statement?” he asked the teen. The answer he received wasn’t at all what he expected, and it tugged at his heartstrings, immediately prompting the cop to fly into action.
With a bit of pause, the young man responded with an explanation he seemed embarrassed to utter out loud, but he chose to be honest with the cop about it. He told the officer that this was the only pair of sneakers he had that he could wear on the job, but sadly, they had ripped apart while he was hard at work. To make do until payday, he used duct tape to hold them together, so he wouldn’t get sent home and miss out on the hourly wages that he desperately needed.
“Me working here, I split my shoes. I was going to buy some more when I get paid,” the young employee told the officer.
The teen’s unexpected admission broke Goldman’s heart. Not knowing how long it was until the teen’s payday or whether he had to rely on these pieced together shoes to walk home, the kind cop knew he had to do something. Casually, he asked the young man’s shoe size. After the two parted ways with a smile, Goldman delivered the food and then headed straight to a shoe store. He picked out a new pair of sneakers he thought the young man would like and went back to the grocery store to present the gift to the teen.
“I didn’t know if he had to walk home in the rain or what,” he said.
“Man, here you go. I didn’t know (if) payday was Friday or two weeks from now,” Goldman recalled telling the teen before handing the young man the new shoes. “He said, ‘What do I owe you?’ and I told him to just pay it forward.” Grateful, the hard-working young man put on his new shoes and couldn’t thank the cop enough for using his own money to help a stranger, Fox5 Atlanta reported.
“I just want to thank him, I shook his hand and everything, but I just want to thank him for what he did,” the teen said, but Goldman didn’t expect any praise or recognition for the good deed. He got it, however, when a fellow shopper saw what happened, snapped a photo, and posted it on Facebook to show others what they had witnessed. And, we’re glad they did.
“My granddaddy used to always say, ‘You know where you’ve been, but you don’t know where you’re going,”’ Goldman said. “That stuck with me.”
All too often, the news is filled with the evil in the world rather than highlighting the good that can be found in it. This selfless officer recognized that this boy was working hard, doing everything he had to do to get ahead in life, and not expecting anything in return. The kind cop, who has probably seen more than his fair share of entitled teens, decided to reward the young man for his efforts, likely making a lasting impact on him and the rest of the world. That’s beautiful, and it deserves to be shared.