Police officer gives young boy walking alone ride home, buys groceries for his family

A police officer gave a young boy who was walking alone a ride home and also bought his family groceries, according to a Facebook post by the Austin Police Department.

Officer James Riley was working in Central West Austin when a citizen flagged him down and alerted him to a young boy walking alone in a parking lot, the post said. Riley approached the child and found out that he had walked to the corner store alone to get snacks for a younger sibling. 

Out of concern for the child's safety, the officer gave the young boy a ride home. 

Once Riley was inside the child's residence, he discovered that the family was going through “difficult financial times,” the post said. 

“He took it upon himself to go to H-E-B and bought a basket full of groceries and snacks that the boys would be able to fix without turning on the gas stove,” the police department wrote. “He also got some things that a parent would be able to cook for them.”

Riley talked to the children about safety and cautioned them not to leave their residence without an adult, the department said. 

“Please join us in commending Officer Riley for helping out a family in need,” the department wrote. “He showed true heart with this act of kindness and is just one example of how our officers work to make Austin a safe community.”

This story was reported from Los Angeles.