STARKE, Fla. – A Starke police officer who noticed a child on a bicycle that appeared too dangerous to ride decided to do something about it.
The officer at the center of this story was unavailable for comment, so News4Jax spoke to her supervisor. He said the officer saw a child riding a bicycle that didn't have a seat.
Instead of turning a blind eye, the officer took it upon herself to help the child get a new bike.
Starke police Officer Morgan McDuffie is seen in a social media photo grinning from ear to ear for a very good reason.
"It made her feel good, and she just put it on her own little page," Starke police Maj. Barry Warren said. "I got the call today, and this is the first time I was made aware of this particular incident."
Warren is referring to how McDuffie helped the little boy. It all started when McDuffie was responding to a juvenile complaint call when she noticed something odd after separating a group of children.
"She was following one of the children home to make sure they got home safe and noticed he was standing up on his bike the whole time," Warren said. "At that time, she noticed there was no seat on the bike."
When McDuffie got to the child's home, she asked his mother if it would be OK for her to take the boy to the Police Department to pick out another bike. The boy picked out a Spider-Man bike.
"My understanding is the kid is happy, and said he could do pop a wheelie now and ride and even catwalk," Warren said.
Although we don't often hear about acts of kindness by police officers in general, Warren said this is part of the job when you wear the Starke police uniform.
"In Starke, Florida, we protect and serve," Warren said. "We have kids that have their bike stolen. We take them to our little hiding place and give them a replacement bike."
News4Jax was granted access to that hiding place from which bikes are given to children. Warren said the bikes are all donated. Some are brand-new and some are used.