A police officer in Arlington, Texas caught a teen smoking weed outside of a movie theatre and instead of arresting him he offered the young man some exercise – okay, a lot of exercises.
The officer, Eric Ballwas, was off-duty at the time when he caught a whiff of something funky. What he discovered was a young man enjoying a joint while his mom was still in the theatre. Instead of arresting him, the officer offered the teen the option of doing 200 push-ups.
“See,” The woman shooting the video can be heard saying, “while we think the police are so bad, they’re not all bad.”
When posted to Reddit the video spawned the sort of hilarity that might be expected. But some Redditors also wondered whether the punishment was too harsh. While others suggested that the officer himself might get in trouble if the video went viral.
It’s since gotten nearly a quarter million views on Facebook where, Raiza Paredez, the women who originally posted the video wrote. “Big UP’s to the Arlington Police Officer that made the young black guy that decided to smoke weed on the movie theater parking lot to do push-ups then take him to jail or shoot him just Cuz.” Paredex wrote in her original post, “We need more cops like this.”
In a later post, Paredez expressed some concern that her video might get the officer fired, based on the over 300 comments and personal messages she received. “I have people in boxing me telling me that my video is going to have this officer fired and I’m jeopardizing his job. It’s not my intention with my video it was only to show the stuff the news doesn’t and how there are still good police officers out here.”
But the statements given by the police department to local news suggests that Ballwas’ decision to swap punishments was well received by his superiors. CBS News reported that Lt. Christopher Cook said the officer got the inspiration for the punishment form his football coaches who also used to make him do push-ups while the boy’s mother hugged and thanked the officer for going easy her son.
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