The 3-year-old cried at the sight of a Bibb County sheriff’s patrol car as it cruised by an apartment in Bloomfield on Thursday afternoon.
Lauren Clarke was “always talking about calling the police. Like always,” Jacynthia Dennard said of her daughter. “So, for her to be crying like that — that was kind of funny.”
Deputy John Young saw Lauren, screaming and crying as she ran toward her grandmother’s lap. He circled back around.
“You scared of the police,” Stephanie Dennard asked her wailing niece. “He’s not going to do nothing …. It’s OK. Let’s give him a hug.”
Still sobbing, Lauren opened her arms wide and walked toward the lawman.
Young chuckled as he lifted her up and wrapped his arms around her.
“Oh my goodness,” the deputy said, gently patting Lauren’s back. “I ain’t mad. I’m not mad.”
The tears stopped.
“Hey, what’s your name?” Young asked.
He didn’t hear her answer, so the second time he asked, Lauren answered “Police.”
“Your name’s not police,” Young said. “Lauren is a pretty name. What are you scared of me for?”
“I’m scared you’re gonna come get me,” Lauren said, her voice muffled.
“No, I’m not going to come get you,” Young said. “You want to go ride with me?”
Though Lauren turned down the deputy's offer for a spin in the patrol car, her mom said she’s re-played the video of the encounter with pride.
“It just really melts my heart that he came back. I just thought that was the sweetest thing,” Jacynthia Dennard told The Telegraph of Young. “I want to know if I can buy him lunch or just do something. … I think he went above and beyond his duties.”