Boy Bereft After Bullies Smash His Guitar—Until NJ Police Officer Gifts His Own as Replacement

By Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.
October 16, 2021 Updated: October 25, 2021

After a 9-year-old boy and his parents appeared at their local police station to report that the boy’s guitar had been smashed by bullies, one officer went above and beyond—he gifted the devastated boy his very own guitar.

Patrol Officer Andrew Skae from Hawthorne, New Jersey, was on duty on Aug. 28 when his colleague Officer Marc Lecourieux met Evan and his parents in the lobby of the Hawthorne Police Department.

“Evan and his father told Officer Lecourieux that three juvenile females asked to see his guitar as he was walking around his neighborhood,” Skae, 30, told The Epoch Times. “Evan handed them the guitar, and the girls smashed it on the ground, destroying it.”

When Lecourieux relayed the story, the entire squad was upset by Evan’s misfortune. Skae quickly volunteered that he had an acoustic Ibanez guitar at his parents’ house; the guitar, he thought, would make the perfect replacement.

Epoch Times Photo
(Back, L–R) Officers Andrew Skae, Lt. Benjamin Veenema, Kevin Foley, and Marc Lecourieux with Evan. (Courtesy of Hawthorne Police Department)

“I haven’t played it in a while, and wanted it to be put to good use,” he said. “[We] asked our supervisor if we could all go over as a squad and hand it to Evan; our supervisor, Lt. Benjamin Veenema, didn’t think twice about it.”

Two hours after Evan’s visit to the station, the squad arrived at his house and invited him outside for a surprise.

“Evan then walked up the steps to the porch where I was waiting with the guitar,” Skae said. “He was ecstatic, and I remember him saying, ‘This is so cool, the coolest thing ever’ … We gave him one rule for the guitar: just keep playing, and make sure to remember us when you’re a famous rock star.”

A photo of the guitar handover was snapped and posted on Department’s social media, and it quickly went viral.

“I was approached by multiple coworkers and community members over the next few days, all saying how heartwarming it was to see,” Skae recalled. “My response was the same: ‘I just wanted him to have it, it was the right thing to do.’”

Epoch Times Photo
“He was ecstatic, and I remember him saying, ‘This is so cool, the coolest thing ever.’” (Courtesy of Hawthorne Police Department)

Skae believes gifting his guitar to Evan exemplifies his hometown’s community spirit.

“Our department loves interacting with the community, and we always find ways of doing so,” he said. “We show up when we are called, no matter what, and when the person requesting help or assistance sees an officer that they recognize, it can help calm them and know that they will be cared for and taken care of in a professional manner.”

The officer hopes Evan will see the squad around town and be excited to say hello, “because we love that,” the officer added.

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Louise Bevan
Louise Bevan is a writer, born and raised in London, England. She covers inspiring news and human interest stories.