After being on a rough path for some time, Anthony Schultz was taken by Brandon Sheffert's family like he was a child of their own.
Peoria Police Officer Brandon Sheffert and his partner were out on a routine night patrol in September 2014 when they found this 16-year-old boy running down the road.
According to Liftable, the boy, Anthony Schultz, talked to Sheffert about his interests, claiming that he was just training for a wrestling match.
According to CNN, one month after their encounter, the officer discovered where did Schultz live due to a 911 call about a domestic altercation, realizing his household wasn't the best.
Soon after that visit, the officer started visiting the boy almost daily, understanding how much he needed guidance and support. After a while, a genuine friendship developed.
Later that month, Schultz mother called the officer saying that she was throwing the boy out of the house, and Sheffert decided to take him in with his family.
"It was one of the saddest moments in my life. My own mom didn't want me to be there. She chose a guy over me and I didn't appreciate that," Anthony recalled.
From that time, Sheffert started filling an important role in the unsettled teen's life. Schultz was thankful for it, blending right in with Sheffert's wife, Courtney, and their two young children.
After Sheffert guided Schultz through many of his first experiences, the boy feels like he has a second family and the feeling is mutual.
It's kind of odd when he's not around, and even our kids, and everybody. I can't imagine my life without him around. I don't think anybody else can, either," Sheffert said.
With the officer's guidance, Schultz went from being a failing student to a high school graduate, as he is the first in his family to graduate on time in almost 30 years.
Looking back, Schultz is thankful that Sheffert chose to stop him on that September night when he was just running to train for a wrestling match.