Hueytown, Alabama, police Cpl. Sebastian Goldman noticed the shoes of a store employee who was helping him load his groceries in his car.
It was duct tape, and he wondered why.
“I looked at him and said, ‘What’s up with duct tape?”’ Goldman told AL.com. “Is that something all the kids are doing? A fashion statement?”
The worker told him that it’s not a fashion statement.
The 19-year-old told him, “Me working here, I split my shoes. I was going to buy some more when I get paid,” according to AL.com.
Before he stopped to pick up food for inmates in prison, Goldman asked the worker his shoe size. After delivering the food, he went to Shoe Department in Hueytown and picked out new shoes for the worker.
“I said, ‘Man, here you go. I didn’t know payday was Friday or two weeks from now,”’ Goldman told the worker after handing him the shoes. “He said, ‘What do I owe you?’ and I told him to just pay it forward.”
According to ABC3340, Goldman told the teen: “Just pay it forward.”
The teen’s dilemma struck a chord with him.
“My granddaddy used to always say, ‘You know where you’ve been, but you don’t know where you’re going,”’ he added. “That stuck with me.”
Goldman added: “I hope people take from it that the police aren’t really bad. We’ve been getting such a bad rap in the news. We’re human beings with families and kids and loved ones.”