TARRANT, Ala. (WIAT) — On any given day, it’s not uncommon for Tarrant police Officer William Stacy to get a call from the Dollar General on Highway 79. Usually the calls are about shoplifters, and the one he received Saturday was no exception.
“When I got there, I made contact with the lady that was suspected of stealing,” said Stacy.
That’s where this call veered away from the normal road.
Stacy knew the woman; he had responded to a previous call to her house and saw the tough living conditions she and her children battle every day.
“It was just a small glimpse into her life,” said Stacy. “It was enough to make an impression on me.”
Dollar General decided not to press charges against the woman for attempting to steal the carton of eggs. Instead of arresting the woman, Stacy paid for the eggs.
“She tried to give me all the money she had,” he said. “It was about $1.25. I told her the best way to pay me back was to never do something like that again.”
Unbeknownst to Stacy, he was being recorded by another customer.
“The manager came up and told me later,” said Stacy. “It didn’t bother me. I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong.”
Within a few hours, he knew the small deed he performed was getting huge.
“My phone was blowing up with notifications and texts,” he said with a laugh. He quickly called Chief Dennis Reno to let him know. “I was pleasantly surprised that something good came out of me getting a phone call on a Sunday, instead of something bad,” said Reno.
By Monday evening, the video had more than 265,000 views on Facebook. Officer Stacy said his fellow officers have been giving him a tough time, even joking that his new nickname is “Hollywood.” Stacy hopes his newfound and sudden fame benefits his entire family of law enforcement more than it does himself.
“After all the stuff that’s been going on all over the U.S. with law enforcement officers, this is a positive uplifting story,” he said. “I’m just one out of hundreds of thousands that do this on a daily basis.”
Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News