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Tempe police officers give young boy gift instead of ticket

PHOENIX — Two Tempe police officers surprised a young boy when, instead of giving him a ticket, they gave him a skateboard after breaking curfew.

Earlier this month, officers Jake Schmidt and Henry Schwenckert responded to a trespassing call on a light rail platform near Third Street and Mill Avenue. The officers said there were children on the platform who were out past curfew.

One of the children, a 13-year-old boy who goes by T, was carrying an old, beat-up skateboard.

“(Officers) took him to his house and when they got there, they realized (his family) doesn’t have a lot,” Lt. Mike Pooley said.

The officers decided to not give T a ticket because of the financial burden it would put on his family. After the officers left, they decided they wanted to provide additional help for the boy.

“When the officers dropped him off, they saw that he didn’t like to be at home because of the conditions that were at home,” Pooley said. “It is one of those things that he wanted to be out with his friends, he wanted to be out away from his environment.”

The officers decided to purchase the boy a gift.

“They looked at his skateboard he had and they saw that it was falling apart, it was chipping, it was breaking, it was on its last leg and they went out and they bought this kid a skateboard,” Pooley said.

Pooley said T was ecstatic and the department plans to continue working with his family to help improve their living situation.