Police looking for teen behind random act of kindness that has gone viral

Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 19:07:16-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A mother was brought to tears after an officer explained what he saw her son do Sunday outside an Independence Hy-Vee.

Now, the Independence Police Department is on the hunt for the teen not to take him into custody -- but rather out to dinner.

Officer Joe Holt stopped to grab a bite to eat at the Hy-Vee located near 45th and Noland Road, but what he saw in the parking lot that rainy day filled his heart instead.

"All of a sudden I see this teenager running across the parking lot taking his coat off," Holt said.

He sat back in his patrol car in awe of this boy, watching as he took off his own jacket and draped it over an older woman struggling to get to her car, even escorting her the rest of the way there.

"I was just totally thrilled by it," Holt said. "I couldn't let it go unnoticed."

So he followed the boy to his mom's van where he described what her son had just done.

"She teared up pretty good. It was a moment between the both of us. I mean, I teared up a little bit," Holt said. "I told her that I was very impressed with him and that he should be proud."

Holt posted the picture to Facebook, which created quite a buzz. It has inspired kindness around the world.

"It has gone viral," Holt said. "I mean there's people from New York and Brunswick."

No matter the thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, Holt only wants to talk to one person. The boy with a big heart in his picture.

"Do you know him?"

"With as much love that kid displayed that day, that kid could go places and I think he could set an example for what society needs to be," Holt said.

Holt wants to reward him with dinner.

"He's the hero. I'm just the photographer in this situation," Holt said. "So it's wherever he wants to go. It's on my dime. So he can pick."

Holt said the teen can reach out to the Independence Police Department if he wants to cash in a free dinner and good conversation with officers.