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Officer buys car seat to help dad he pulled over

Posted: 3:15 PM, Apr 26, 2016
Updated: 2016-04-26 15:20:23-04

LaVonte Dell was pulled over while driving his Impala.

"When he hit the lights, I did what probably everybody would do. Heart dropped. Went to my stomach," Dell said.

He figured he was pulled over because of his tinted windows. He was right.

However, when Westland, Michigan police officer Joshua Scaglione walked up to the car, he saw something else. Dell's 3-year-old daughter Lauren was not in a car seat.

"I asked him why is she back there without a car seat. It's not safe. He teared up a little bit and told me he was going through some tough times," says Officer Scaglione.

"When he asked me to step out of the car, I was expecting the worst," says Dell.

He wasn't expecting it, but that's when Dell says Officer Scaglione took time to talk to him and find out what was really going on.

"I related to the fact that I've been in that situation before. I realized this was the perfect opportunity to help him," says Officer Scaglione.

So instead of giving Dell a ticket, he told him to follow him to Walmart. That's where Officer Scaglione bought a car seat for Dell's daughter.

As they walked through the store, Dell says he didn't feel like he was with a stranger. He felt like he was with someone who really cared.

"You would have thought we were best friends. No awkward silence. I learned about him. He learned about me," says Dell.

"He seems like blue collar hard working guy who was doing the best he could for his family," says Officer Scaglione.

Dell thanked him, but says they parted ways before realizing he didn't get Officer Scaglione's name. That's one of the reasons he posted this story on Facebook. It has since gone viral.

"I feel like he should get the recognition. Everyone should know what he did," says Dell.

He now has a new found appreciation for police and says, "Don't judge a book by its cover. You'd be surprised what comes of it."

Officer Scaglione says his only intention was helping someone in need. However, he feels great knowing that he changed Dell's perception on police.

Since the post has gone viral, he's been contacted by people all over the country who just wanted to say thank you.