Have you seen the video that's gone viral of the police officer who stops and throws a football with a little boy?
Typically when the police show up and something's caught on police dash cam video someone's in trouble. Well, not this time.
Millions have now watched as a Rosenberg Police officer stops and tosses a football with a little boy who was playing alone.
Our cameras were also rolling as the officer and the 10 year old reunited.
It's something 10 year old Jermaine Ford is all too familiar with, tossing the football to himself or with one of the women in his family. “With me being a single parent he really doesn't have a male role model in his life but I do my best with him,” says Jermaine’s mom Tynesha Mathews.
“It's good to have a great mom but there are certain things only a man can teach another man,” adds Jermaine’s cousin Brittany Ford. Jermaine, his two sisters and his mom live with Brittany, an 8th grade math teacher, in her two bedroom apartment.
Rosenberg Police Sgt. Ariel Soltura didn't know any of that on Saturday when he saw Jermaine and the 10 year old was tossing his football all alone.
Soltura's patrol dashboard camera caught the several minute encounter. The two actually didn't even say anything to one another.
The officer just jumped out of the patrol car and put his hands together. “I just put my hands up in a triangle which is the universal sign for throw me the ball,” explains Rosenberg Police Department Sgt. Ariel Soltura. With that, the football game between the kid and the cop began.
“Pretty awesome because he decided to play football with me because I was alone playing by myself,” says 10 year old Jermaine Ford.
Since everyone and their local police department now has a Facebook page, the video was posted and people all over the world can't get enough of it. “It was surprising and shocking because he just pulled up randomly,” says the 10 year old.
Now there is also video of the two reuniting. Jermaine's eyes light up when he sees Sgt. Soltura. “He looked at him like a hero. (Is he a hero in your eyes?) Yes he is,” explains the 10 year old’s mom.
Everyone seemed to notice how Jermaine looked in awe at the officer, as if Sgt. Soltura wore a cape and an “S” on his chest. “It's an awesome feeling. I feel truly humbled,” Soltura says.
“That's going to be an impact on my son's life for the rest of his life,” says Mathews. Sgt. Soltura exchanged phone numbers with Jermaine and told him “We are friends for life buddy”. He also gave the 10 year old a tour of his cruiser.
“It's good for my little cousin to see that police officers do other things other than take people to jail. There can be such a negative connotation related with a police officer. It broadened his horizons on what police officers actually do,” explains Brittany.
“We have to break down the walls that exist that divided the community and law enforcement for so long,” says Soltura.
Sgt. Soltura is a father of a 5 year old son. He thought of his son when he saw Jermaine alone. “I'd like to believe in my heart of hearts that when I'm off at work another police officer somewhere can stop and do the same thing for my child”.
News stations from all over the country are now requesting interviews with the 10 year old and his new hero. “It’s overwhelming, really overwhelming,” says the 10 year old’s mom.
Jermaine wants to play little league football. The problem is that can be expensive. Well, problem solved. A Fort Bend County team, The Rosenberg Roughnecks, is offering the 10 year old a scholarship to play on their team. “This is just a blessing,” says the 10 year old’s mom.
All of this because of a little football game only two players deep, that is now touching millions all over the world. It turns out the Super Bowl isn’t the only game in town.
When Jermaine grows up he now wants to be a football player or a police officer.