A North Texas cop is going viral after he offered a teen the option to do 200 pushups rather than be arrested after he was caught smoking marijuana outside a theater.
Arlington Police Officer Eric Ball was working off-duty at the theater when he caught the teen finishing a cigarette, WFAA-TV reported. Lt. Chris Cook told the station the teen was respectful, so Ball decided to give him a break.
"He said, 'You give me 200 push-ups, I won't put you in jail," Cook told the station. "He could have very well arrested this teen, but instead he tried to do something better."
Ball told WDFW-TV he was inspired by a police officer who was his mentor when he was in high school.
"The officer who was my mentor, he looked out for me," Ball told the station. "So I just wanted to do it as a learning tool. … It's easy to arrest folks. But it's harder to change someone."
The teen's mom thanked Ball and suggested he should have made the young man do 1,000 pushups, WDFW-TV reported.
A video of the encounter posted on Facebook by Raiza Paredez has been viewed more than 155,000 times and shared more than 1,700 times.
"Cop could have changed that boy's life for the worst [sic] with that weed charge instead let's hope he changed it for the better," one Facebook user commented.
"Props to the cop but I hope your video doesn't get him disciplined," another said.
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