An Arlington police officer is hoping to teach a teen a lesson after he caught him smoking marijuana.
But instead of arresting the teen, the officer told him to drop and give him 200 push-ups. The alternative punishment has a lot of people talking on social media for all the right reasons.
Arlington Officer Eric Ball was working his off-duty job as security for the Tinseltown Cinemark Monday night when someone told him a teen was smoking marijuana near the front door.
“I asked him to come here,” Ball said. “When he noticed I was an officer, he came walking toward me. But he dropped something in his hand.”
Officer Ball says the teen was facing a misdemeanor citation and fines for having drug paraphernalia.
“You out here in front of the door smoking weed. What are you thinking? That was dumb,” Ball said. “So you're going to go to jail for something dumb today.”
But second chances are something Officer Ball knows about firsthand. He was inspired by his own high school mentor, who was also a police officer.
“The officer who was my mentor, he looked out for me,” Ball said. “So I just wanted to do it as a learning tool.”
So Ball made the teen an offer.
“I'm like, ‘Yeah, you can do 200 push-ups or go to jail.’”
It led to the moment being captured on cell phone video by another mom who wanted to inspire her own sons.
“We think the police is so bad. They're not all bad,” the woman on the video said.
Ball let the young man walk away with a life lesson and maybe some sore arms instead of a citation.
“It's easy to arrest folks,” Ball said. “But it's harder to change someone.”
Officer Ball says the young man's mom was also on board when she found her son was doing push-ups in the parking lot. He says she thought he went too easy on her son, suggesting 1,000 push-ups instead of just 200.