LAFOLLETTE, Tenn. (WATE) — Gabe Burris is new at skateboarding, but he really enjoys it. Earlier this month, family friend Joshua Hicks brought him to a skatepark in LaFollette. While in the park he noticed a police officer pull up in his patrol car.
“When I pulled up, Mr. Hicks walked over. He asked if it’s OK to be here. I said, Yes, I’m just watching skateboard. We started talking a little bit. Then Gabe, the young man, came over and we were talking about school. We kept talking a little bit, and I noticed when he was skateboarding that his board was a little worn out,” LaFollette patrolman Anthony Mahar said.
“He asked me if I was going to be here for a little bit. I said, ‘sure.’ He said, ‘I’ll see you all when I stop back through,'” said Hicks.
However, by the time Mahar got back, Hicks and Burris were on their way home. What they did not know was that Mahar had gone to Walmart for a new skateboard. The gift was an extension of the trunk of toys Mahar carries in his cruiser. He hands out toys when there is a crisis or he just wants to make a kid happy.
“As I’m going through town, I noticed a cop doing a U-turn. He got in behind me and blue lighted me. I’m like what did I do? I wasn’t speeding?” Hicks said.
“Luckily, I remember the vehicle and tag as I was leaving out. And, I passed them. So I turned around, on them. Made a stop and presented Gabe with a new skateboard,” said Mahar.
“I looked through my rear-view mirror and saw that it was officer Anthony and he gets out, goes around to his car and pulls out a new skateboard,” Hicks said.
The new board cost $16, but the real value is the officer’s kindness.
“It’s a blessing to have someone like him in this field, in the community,” Burris said of Mahar. “I think he’s a very good person.”