But to 18-year-old Christian Felix, getting picked up by Phoenix Police Sergent Natalie Simonick allowed for an unlikely friendship to form.
On March 6, 2013, Sgt. Simonick was patrolling the streets at night when she spotted Christian wandering the streets alone.
Initially, Sgt. Simonick stopped Christian with the suspicion of him breaking a curfew violation. However, after talking to Christian, she learned that his mom could not pick him up from work that night, and after missing the bus, he was going to have to walk home alone after his night shift at a fast food joint. His home was over 6 miles away.
Sgt. Simonick offered Christian a courtesy ride home that night.
On the ride to Christian’s house, Sgt. Simonick learned that Christian had never ridden a bicycle. She also learned that Christian was raised by a single mom, Jessica, after his father had abandoned them when he was a child. Christian’s story impressed Sgt. Simonick, and the work ethic, initiative, and character that he displayed inspired her to help him out in some way.
A weeks later Sgt. Simonick decided to buy Christian a bicycle out of her own pocket, along with safety lights, a helmet, and a bike lock. She then arranged, with the help of three fellow officers, to give Christian lessons to learn the basics of riding his new bicycle.
Christian would never have to walk home alone from work again.
On April 24th, 2013, Sgt. Simonick received a phone call from Jessica, thanking her for everything she had done for Christian.
Jessica referred to Sgt. Simonick as an “angel”, explaining that, “I feared the worst for Christian after not being able to pick him up for work. After I said a prayer that he would get home safely, Sgt. Simonick safely delivered Christian to me.”
This small act of kindness from Sgt. Simonick is an excellent example of how a little love and charity can really change the life of someone unexpected.