SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – A police officer recently went above and beyond the call of duty with a generous gesture to a boy who watched his bicycle get stolen.
It was 1:30 in the morning when 12-year-old Angel Gonzalez heard a commotion and looked out the window to see two men taking his bike from the balcony of his family’s apartment.
“I was just in shock and didn’t know what to do,” Gonzalez said. “I just screamed ‘Hey that’s my bike’.”
Veteran South Ogden Police Officer Dan Johnson, who works the overnight shift, showed up to take the report.
“The look on his face was worse than the bike being stolen because it was just kind of a look of defeat,” Officer Johnson told Behind The Badge. “I knew exactly what he was feeling…I had my bike stolen when I was roughly the same age and I mean, that’s your wheels, that’s how you get around.”
With no sign of Angel’s bike or the suspect later that day, Officer Johnson decided to replace the bike out of his own pocket.
“I was on my way into work and stopped at Walmart and picked a bike out that I thought Angel would like,” he said.
He spent $140 on a Mongoose Brawler Freestyle BMX model with 20-inch wheels…and then surprised Angel with it.
“Hey Angel. So I feel bad about yesterday, this morning OK. I haven’t been able to get that bike back OK?” he says in a video recorded by Angel’s older brother, Carlos Ponce. “We got you this bike here. Got you a brand new bike, with a brand new lock. OK? The only thing it’s going to cost you is maybe if I can get a couple of pictures to send to my people and they’ll be happy. Sound like a deal?”
“Yeah,” Angel replied, giving Officer Johnson a hug.
“I wasn’t expecting to get a hug out of him but it was awesome,” Officer Johnson said. “It was good.”
“I was really shocked,” Gonzalez said. “I was like ‘Wow. There’s still good people in this world.'”
Officer Johnson says he’s not special, explaining that he sees law enforcement officers do this type of thing all the time.
“Good cops aren’t rare. They’re everywhere from all departments, all the way around,” he said. “It’s nice when it comes back and you get the positive light on it. You talk to any officer that’s in the same situation and they’ll say the same thing. They weren’t doing it for the recognition. It’s just because it’s the right thing to do.”
Officer Johnson tells me he wasn’t looking for any attention for this, but Angel’s older brother posted the video to Facebook where it has nearly 2,000 likes.
As for Angel, he’s decorated his new bike with some stickers and he’s working hard on his bunny hops and his wheelies.