Parma officers take boy with Down syndrome on ride of his life

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PARMA, Ohio — A young teenager with down syndrome, who loves law enforcement got to go for the ride of his life, after a chance meeting at a local restaurant.

Pamela Crouse says her son, Sawyer, dresses up like a policeman nearly every Halloween and was wearing his police hat last spring when they bumped into two Parma officers.

“Sawyer noticed them right away of course, so he asked if he could say hi and I said, ‘sure, go ahead,’” said Crouse.

Officer Christopher Kalina says they actually noticed Sawyer too, because of the hat and offered to take him for a “ride-along” some day.

Pamela admits she never thought it would actually happen until this week when Officer Kalina and his partner got special permission to have Sawyer spend the day with them.

Sawyer not only cruised in the cruiser but got to meet the K9 unit, see a drone demonstration and explore the SWAT truck.

“It was wonderful, he had a great smile and enjoyed every minute of it,” said Officer Kalina, who is a dad himself.

When FOX 8’s Suzanne Stratford met with the family and officers Thursday Sawyer was still wearing a police hat, but this time it was a Parma police ball cap.

“I like it so much,” said Sawyer, who added that he also likes that they “rescue people.”

The exciting day ended with a fist bump and a promise to stay “friends for life.”

The officers didn’t want any recognition, but Pamela says, she called FOX 8 because at a time when there is so much negativity, sometimes toward officers, she wanted people to see their genuine kindness.

“It just makes me really happy,” said Pamela, “To have him go above and beyond and take time out to spend with my child it just meant the world.”

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