Police officer stuns father by buying car seat for his daughter instead of writing a ticket
Instead of giving LaVonte Dell a ticket, Westland police officer Joshua Scaglione bought a car seat for his 3-year-old daughter.
In 2016, while Dell was driving with his daughter Lauren in the car, he was suddenly pulled over on Warren Ave. in Westland.
"When he hit the lights, I did what probably everybody would do. Heart dropped. Went to my stomach," he told WXYZ.
Dell assumed maybe he was pulled over because of his tinted windows, which turned out to be right.
However, when Officer Scaglione walked over to the car, he saw Dell's 3-year-old daughter wasn't in a car seat.
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Officer Scaglione told WXYZ: "I asked him why is she back there without a car seat. It's not safe. He teared up a little bit and told me he was going through some tough times."
The officer then asked Dell to step out of the car. The father feared that something terrible was about to happen.
Officer Scaglione started to ask him about what was happening in his life.
"I related to the fact that I've been in that situation before. I realized this was the perfect opportunity to help him," he said.
So instead of issuing a ticket, Officer Scaglione told Dell to follow him to a nearby Walmart, where he bought him a car seat for his little girl.
While they were walking around the store, Dell said he felt like the officer was his longtime friend.
"You would have thought we were best friends. No awkward silence. I learned about him. He learned about me," Dell said.
Officer Scaglione added: "He seems like [a] blue-collar hard-working guy who was doing the best he could for his family."
Dell thanked the officer but later realized that he never asked for his name.
"I feel like he should get the recognition. Everyone should know what he did," Dell said.
He added that his respect for police grew after the experience.
"Don't judge a book by its cover. You'd be surprised what comes of it," he said.
Officer Scaglione explained that he just wants to help someone in need and that he was proud of himself knowing that he changed the young father's perception on police.