CLEVELAND – A 9-year-old boy and a police officer, brought together because of their passion for Pokemon.
It is a combination that adds up to a heartwarming story about a man in blue who went above and beyond to help a young crime victim.
“These cards I had around since I was about six,” Bryce said proudly.
For Bryce, his collection of Pokemon cards has meant everything to him, ever since he began trading them with friends.
“They told me that Pokemon is a huge thing and they showed me their cards, gave me a few and that’s how I started out my collection,” said Bryce.
He keeps them in a binder.
This week he was walking to a friend’s house in his Slavic Village neighborhood to show them off.
“Some kid stole them right out of my hand and he ran over there,” he explained.
Bryce says he was devastated as his treasured collection was gone in an instant.
“Then my mom called the cops and they showed up,” Bryce said.
Cleveland police officers James Grotenrath and Ken Kirk showed up to investigate.
“Some of the neighborhood kids were helping Bryce look down for whoever this boy was and we ended up finding him over in Newburgh Heights,” said Grotenrath.
Police recovered the binder, but some of Bryce’s cards were missing.
“I grew up with Pokemon, I loved Pokemon as a kid and I would be heartbroken too if my cards were taken from me,” Grotenrath said.
Officer Grotenrath says after his shift, he went home, rummaged through his closet and found his old collection.
The 26-year old and two-year Cleveland police veteran surprised Bryce.
He returned to his house, and gave up his own Pokemon collection as well as other cards he had stored.
“It’s a banned card of Pokeman and there’s only about ten of these in the world and I have one of them,” explained Bryce.
“It’s a priceless item, but it’s better to see someone else smile, and in my book, like my partner says, it’s just happy to see a citizen smile instead of always frowning upon us and looking the other way,” said Grotenrath.
“I think they’re really nice and they help out the world,” Bryce said.
Bryce says he has always respected the work of police officers. He has two uncles on the Cleveland police force.
Officers tell us the kid who stole the Pokemon cards was just a few years older than Bryce, and although he got a good “talking to” they did not file any charges.