An act of kindness in Emmett Township is circling the world.
After Public Safety Officer Ben Hall purchased a car seat for a child instead of writing a ticket for her mother, the phone lines and Facebook comment sections have been flooded.
“We have had 80,000 hits on our Facebook page and 300 comments,” Lt. Tony Geigle said Tuesday. “We have had calls from Tennessee, Chicago, Denmark and the United Kingdom.”
Hall has been contacted by the Ellen Degeneres Show and information about his traffic stop has been on NBC’s Today show and Nightly News, CNN and Fox. Hall did a radio interview with a Detroit station Tuesday morning.
“I have never seen anything to this extent,” Geigle said.
Hall, 31, and an officer for about 2½ years, didn’t plan for all the publicity when he stopped a car Friday evening on Columbia Avenue.
“Dispatch called and said there was a call stating that a young child was in the car without a car seat or a booster seat,” he said. “There was a description provided and just then the vehicle passed right in front of the station.”
Hall said he stopped the car and found a woman driving and Lexi DeLorenzo in the passenger seat. DeLorenzo’s 5-year-old daughter was in the back seat, wearing just a seat belt.
“She explained she knew she was suppose to have a booster seat but she had a rough couple of months. Her car had been repossessed with the child’s car seat and some other personal items,” Hall said.
Hall is an active officer, making traffic stops and writing tickets, Geigle said.
And he has written tickets before when a child was not properly restrained in a vehicle, he said.
“I am proactive, but I guess in this situation what she was going through is something I could have been going through someday. It was something anyone could have been going through.
“Giving her a ticket was not the answer. It doesn’t solve the problem and when I try to put myself in that position and I was being pulled over and going through all that stuff I thought ‘what would I like to have happen?’ “
DeLorenzo explained she was working a part-time job, lost her car and had gotten a ride from a friend to pick up her daughter.
“I was in a position to help her and her child and provide a little relief,” Hall said. “I talked to the mother about different organizations that give out car seats but it was night, Friday, on a weekend and we needed something right now.”
Hall told DeLorenzo to meet him at Walmart and they went to the car seat section.
“I am single and don’t have kids so I don’t know where the baby section is,” he admitted. But with help from a saleswoman, they found a seat that the little girl liked and he paid the $55.
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