An Arlington police officer is receiving lots of praise from social media after his encounter with a teen boy. According to the video circulating on social media, the officer allowed the teen to do push-ups versus taking him to jail.
Arlington police identified the officer in the video as Officer Eric Ball. He was working off-duty one night at an Arlington movie theater when someone told him a teenager was smoking weed outside.
When he went out, he saw the teenager finishing a cigarette and discarding it, smelling marijuana as he approached.
“Marijuana gives [off] a distinct odor. He knew what the teen was up to,” said Lt. Chris Cook with Arlington police.
Lt. Cook said the teen was respectful and realized he’d made a mistake. While Officer Ball could have arrested him, he decided to do something different.
“He said, ‘You give me 200 push-ups, I won’t put you in jail,” said Lt. Cook.
Officer Ball played high school football, and push-ups are how his coaches used to discipline. According to Cook, he’d never done this before, but it popped into his head in the moment.
“He could have very well arrested this teen, but instead he tried to do something better,” said Lt. Cook.
Arlington police said they don’t know the name of the teenager, but that he was about 17 or 18 years old. According to police, Officer Ball found the teenager’s mother inside the movie theater, and she gave him a hug and thanked him.
“She gave a stern warning to her son and even told the officer, ‘I would have made him do more push-ups,'” said Lt. Cook.
Raiza Paradez posted the video to Facebook and it has been shared hundreds of times with people commenting on how proud they are of the officer’s actions.