GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A police officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, recently surprised a 9-year-old boy with a birthday celebration he’ll never forget.
On the morning of Feb. 22, Officer Austin Lynema was patrolling in a southeast Grand Rapids neighborhood when he saw a boy running after a school bus, local media reported. Lynema pulled over and asked the boy, 9-year-old Thomas Daniel, if he needed help.
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Thomas told Lynema he had missed the school bus and that his mom didn’t have a car. After getting permission from Thomas’ mother, Lynema gave the boy a ride to school.
During the ride, Thomas told Lynema that it was his ninth birthday and that he was having a party after school. He said he was afraid no one would show up because he was bullied at school, then extended an invitation to Lynema.
Later that day, only Lynema and Thomas’ siblings showed up at the party, which was missing a cake.
"No one showed up," Thomas told WOOD-TV. "It made me sad."
Lynema decided Thomas needed a make-up party. The next day, Lynema and a group of officers surprised Thomas when he got off the school bus. They threw the boy a second party complete with a Krispy Kreme doughnut cake and a singing quartet. For gifts, the officers gave Thomas a Grand Rapids Police Department hat, T-shirt and badge.
Thomas said he loved the second party.
"He came out on the balcony. He was jumping up and down. He couldn't believe that we actually showed up," Lynema said.
Thomas told the officers that they gave him the “best birthday ever.”
“No kid should get bullied, and no kid should worry if anyone will come to the party. Next year, Thomas Daniel, make sure you drop us that invite a little sooner. We wouldn't want to miss it,” Grand Rapids police said in a Facebook post.
Thomas told WOOD-TV he wants to be a police officer when he grows up.
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