- Police officer found a hungry 7-year-old boy, trying to sell his teddy bear to get money for food
- Kind police officer did beyond his duty requirements and took the boy to Subway
- Parents, who said they didn’t realize their son is missing, were charged with 10 counts of child endangerment
FRANKLIN, Ohio – A police officer came across a seven-year-old boy who was wandering on the streets of Franklin in Ohio trying to sell his teddy bear toy so that he can get money for food.
The police said the boy was hungry and didn’t eat anything in many days. The boy, whose identity is withheld, allegedly approached a police officer in hope of some help.
The police officer, Steve Dunham, said he was heartbroken to see the situation of the kid that he immediately took him to Subway.
“(We) said a little prayer and ate dinner together,” Dunham said.
“It broke my heart. He told me he was trying to sell his stuffed animal to get money for food because he hadn’t eaten in several days,” he added.
The officer brought the child to Franklin Police Department after taking him to Subway where he feasted the kid.
An article by WLWT mentioned that Police Chief Russ Whitman confirmed that officer Dunham gave the boy comfort and safety that he didn’t have at home.
Franklin police conducted an investigation and found out that the boy and his four brothers lived in a complete mess. The investigators described the place full of cockroaches, garbage, and cat urine and liquor bottles.
The boy’s parents, Tammi and Michael Bethel, who said they did not realize their son was missing, have been charged with 10 counts of child endangerment
“(Police) treated them like their own kids, and that’s exactly what law enforcement does in situations like this. How would we want someone to treat our kids? Hopefully, these officers’ actions change these kids’ lives and maybe change the lives of the parents to become better parents,” Whitman said.
“I came back to check on him and he was hiding. He jumped out to scare me when I came back in the building; he got me real good,” Dunham narrated.
“(We) would like to go home at the end of the day feeling like (we’ve) done something positive and, you know, had some kind of positive impact,” he added.
The advocate of the victims sent a thank-you note to the Franklin Police Department appreciating their efforts of going an extra mile to provide comfort and safety to the vulnerable kids.
Police said the 7-year-old boy and his brothers aged 11, 12, 15 and 17, have been removed from the home and kept under the care of their relatives.
Meanwhile, Jon Dean mentioned in his article for Mirror Co UK that Tammi and Michael Bethel have been barred from contacting the youngsters and are ordered to appear at a pre-trial hearing on September 16.