Officer Mark Engravalle recently responded to a shoplifting complaint at a Walmart store in Roeland Park, KS. When he arrived, he found a mother and her six children, crying and distressed.
The mother, Sarah, broke into tears as she explained the truth behind her actions. She and her five daughters were homeless, and were living out of a car. That’s when the officer looked down and realized three of the children were not wearing shoes, their feet covered in dirt and soot. Sarah said her husband died in an accident four years ago and the family had been struggling to land on their feet ever since.
When Officer Engravalle combed through the stolen items, what he found touched him to the core. Sarah, aided by her oldest daughter, had taken $300 worth of diapers, children’s shoes, baby wipes, and other items her children desperately needed. The officer, who has two kids of his own, tapped into his fatherly instincts. “Walmart might see her as a criminal, but I just saw her as a mom going through a really difficult time,” he said.
That’s when Officer Engravalle did something incredible. He wrote Sarah a minor ticket for shoplifting — but then walked back into Walmart and paid her entire grocery bill using his own money. He didn’t even think twice.
Roeland Park police have now set up a line to handle donations to Sarah and her family, and the results have been overwhelming. One local radio station alone dropped off more than $6,000 donated by the station’s listeners! Sarah and her kids are eternally grateful for their angel in uniform, and can barely talk about Officer Engravalle without shedding a tear.
For every “bad cop” story we hear in the news, it helps to know there are so many more good guys out there. Please SHARE this awesome story with your friends on Facebook!