A Texas police officer who warmed the hearts of thousands after he stopped to play catch with a young boy has been identified and is now speaking out.
Sgt. Ariel Soltura said he was simply patrolling the streets when he noticed the child playing ball alone. He told KTRK-TV he had to do something about it.
“And I saw he was throwing up a football, and I could tell he was playing by himself,” Soltura said. “He didn’t have anybody to play with. He wasn’t just waiting for more kids to arrive.”
“I literally got out of the car. I did like this, which is the universal sign of ‘throw me the football,’ and at that time you just saw his face lit up, and he was ready to play,” he continued to KTRK-TV. “At that time, he and I both connected. We began to throw the football. You can see that I’m obviously trying to get him to go along, and so we’re just playing a game of catch, and it was awesome.”
The video, which has since gone viral, was initially posted to the Rosenberg Police Department’s Facebook page.
“It was cool that the public got to see what police officers do on a daily basis,” Soltura said. “If we see a kid kicking the can, they want us to go out there and replace that can with a ball, and hopefully we’ve made an impact on these kids’ futures for the rest of their lives.”
“It’s important because we all live in this world together,” he added. “We all make an impact in this world and make it a better place.”
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter