As the law enforcement arm of the justice system in America, police officers routinely arrest marijuana users, especially when they’re caught smoking in public but Officer Eric Ball, of Arlington TX, is being praised for giving a teenager an alternative to spending a night in jail.
“I asked him to come here,” Ball said. “When he noticed I was an officer, he came walking toward me. But he dropped something in his hand.”
Officer Ball says the teen was facing a misdemeanor citation and fines for having drug paraphernalia.
“You out here in front of the door smoking weed. What are you thinking? That was dumb,” Ball said. “So you’re going to go to jail for something dumb today.”
But second chances are something Officer Ball knows about firsthand. He was inspired by his own high school mentor, who was also a police officer.
“The officer who was my mentor, he looked out for me,” Ball said. “So I just wanted to do it as a learning tool.”
It led to the moment being captured on cell phone video by another mom who wanted to inspire her own sons.
In a video uploaded by CW33, the teen can be seen struggling through the ordeal of doing 200 push-ups. Officer Ball says the young man’s mom was also on board when she found her son was doing push-ups in the parking lot. He says she thought he went too easy on her son, suggesting 1,000 push-ups instead of just 200.
“We think the police is so bad. They’re not all bad,” the woman on the video said.
Ball let the young man walk away with a life lesson and maybe some sore arms instead of a citation.
“It’s easy to arrest folks,” Ball said. “But it’s harder to change someone.”