Police officer buys car seat for struggling dad after traffic stop

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A Michigan police officer is being dubbed a hero after helping a struggling father.

LaVonte Dell told ABC News Thursday he was driving in Westland on Monday afternoon when he "suddenly saw the red and blue lights" behind his car. The 28-year-old dad said his "heart dropped to his stomach" and that he was "so sure" he was going to get a costly ticket because of his vehicle's tinted windows.

What happened next, Dell reportedly said, “completely surprised him.”

“The officer told me why he pulled me over, which I had predicted, and then he also noticed my 3-year-old in the back wasn’t in a car seat,” Dell said. “He asked me to step out of my vehicle to talk to him, and I was just so scared thinking this couldn’t be good.”

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The police officer, Joshua Scaglione, told Westland local reporters, "The dad teared up a little and explained how he didn't have the money to afford a car seat right now and that he had been running into some tough times."

Instead of issuing Dell a ticket, Scaglione did something only a true protector of this country would think to do.

“Hey, could you follow me to Walmart?” Scaglione asked. Shocked Dell replied, “For what?”

“I said I’d be more than happy to buy the car seat for him,” Scaglione told reporters.

Dell said “he still couldn’t believe it” when the two of them were shopping in Walmart and getting to know each other better.

“He purchased one for me, and it was pink, which is my daughter’s favorite color.” Dell added, “It has butterflies and she loves it.”

Scaglione told WXYZ, "I related to the fact that I've been in that situation before. I realized this was the perfect opportunity to help him."

The Westland police officer added, "You know, a ticket doesn’t help all the time. I’ve been in a tough situation like this guy before. I figured it’d be better to help him out and just raise more awareness about car safety rather than give him a ticket that would dig him deeper in a hole and make things worse for him.”

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