MAYFLOWER, Ark. — Police get calls for stolen property every day, but a Mayflower Police officer says he answered a call from his youngest citizen yet last week.
Wyatt Stender loves baseball, but instead of stealing bases, someone stole his baseball last week. Wyatt just wanted his baseball back and the person who took it to be held responsible, and he knew just what to do. Wyatt said, “Call 911”
According to Wyatt’s mother, Victoria Stender, “He begged and pleaded that I call 911, and I was like eh, we probably shouldn’t call 911. He said, ‘No! A thief has it and we need to call 911.”
Call the situation a strike, a curveball, or an error, but when Victoria called a non-emergency line, Mayflower Police Detective Taylor Decker picked up the phone and he saw a diamond in the rough.
Decker remembered thinking, “I won’t pass up this opportunity because this is his first interaction with law enforcement. I didn’t want it to be a bad one.”
Decker drove out to meet Wyatt and made a full police report with a witness statement and even a wanted poster.
“I asked if he wanted to put them in time out when I caught him, and he said, ‘Nope. I want them to go straight to jail,” Decker stated.
Though officers couldn’t get their mitts on a thief, they did come back with exactly what Wyatt needed two new baseballs.
“We’re very grateful. I wasn’t expecting that at all,” Victoria admitted.
“We want these kids to trust us. We want these kids to come to us when they need help,” Decker stated.
Decker said often the kids he does get a chance to see on the job are older teens on their worst days. “Wish we had the opportunity with every kid,” Decker added.
Because of this short stop, Wyatt has Officer Decker as a new “cool” longtime friend, and he will also see law enforcement as part of his team.
The baseballs police gave Wyatt were donated by a local team to law enforcement.
The Mayflower Police Department said, “Our Officer did not do this for recognition, but genuinely out of caring for the child. We appreciate his efforts and the good work our officers do every day.”