When LaVonte Dell saw the red and blue sparkle of police lights in his rearview mirror and pulled over while driving in Westland, Michigan, he expected a costly ticket for the dark tint on his Chevrolet Impala's windows. "(My) heart dropped and went to my stomach," Dell said in an interview with ABC News.
When the officer noticed that Dell's 3-year-old daughter was not in a car seat, he thought the worst.
"He asked me to step out of my vehicle to talk to him," Dell told ABC, "and I was just so scared thinking this couldn't be good."
After listening to Dell's story, the officer — later identified as Joshua Scaglione of the City of Westland Police Department — did something amazing. He not only declined to ticket Dell, he also had him follow him to a WalMart. That's where Officer Scaglione bought Dell and his daughter a car seat.
"He purchased one for me, and it was pink, which is my daughter's favorite color," Dell told ABC. "It has butterflies and she loves it."
"You know, a ticket doesn't help all the time," Officer Scaglione remarked to ABC. "I figured it'd be better to help him out and just raise more awareness about car safety rather than give him a ticket that would dig him deeper in a hole and make things worse for him."
Dell was so moved by the interaction that he took to Facebook to thank the officer.
The moral of the story?
"Never judge a book by its cover," Dell wrote, adding that there are still "some good guys left."
Watch the ABC interview with Dell and Officer Scaglione here.
(H/T: ABC News)