It could have ended differently. It could have ended with a father, struggling to make ends meet, staring down another bill to pay. Instead, a kind-hearted officer did something else that is extraordinary.
LaVonte Dell was cruising through Westland on Monday with his 3-year-old girl in the backseat when Officer Joshua Scaglione pulled him over. The problem with his car was the windows were too dark and he wrote in his Facebook post that he gave the officer his documents and Officer Scaglione turned to head back to his car.
That's when he looked inside and saw LaVonte's daughter in the backseat - and not in a car seat. LaVonte says in his Facebook post that the old one was 'done for' and that's why his daughter wasn't in the proper seat.
He said the officer had him step out of the car. He asked him why his daughter wasn't strapped in properly and LaVonte said he's barely making ends meet right now.
Instead of continuing on with giving him a ticket for tinted windows AND for not having his daughter properly strapped in, Scaglione told LaVonte to follow him to Walmart.
The two of them must have been quite a sight. LaVonte, a black man covered in tats, and a white police officer walking through the aisle together. As LaVonte puts it, you would have thought they were best friends.
They checked out and Scaglione pulled out his own money and paid for the proper car seat right then and there.
LaVonte was in shock. He thanked the officer and told him he never met an officer like him. Officer Scaglione's reponse was perfect: "I'm just doing my job. What good would giving you a ticket do besides putting you further in the hole, making it harder on you to come up?"
LaVonte said he initially forgot to get the officer's name and spent Tuesday trying to track him down. On Wednesday, he's going to get a chance to thank him in person. The Westland Police Department is setting up a meeting for 6 p.m. for the two to meet again.