NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. -- A family from Delaware got a first-hand taste of southern hospitality after a South Carolina trooper went out of his way to help the family get back home. His actions were so kind, he inspired a 6-year-old boy to become a police officer when he grows up.
The video was posted on Facebook and shows South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Jay Gardner giving Lamar Richardson a lesson in law enforcement.
They met after Richardson and his family were on the way home to Delaware from a family reunion in Alabama. His cousin, 22-year-old Jaybryana Lopez said they ran over a metal rod in the road coming through Spartanburg, South Carolina.
"When we went over it, it popped our tire. Took out the engine and the oil," said Lopez.
They called 911 for help, and Trooper Gardner showed up to save the day.
"He was just like, 'what can I do to help?'" said Lopez.
Lopez said he drove them nearly an hour out of his jurisdiction to the airport to get another rental car. That's when Trooper Gardner and Richardson became buddies.
"He let Lamar play all in his car. He was letting him try all different buttons, pressing the horn -- everything possible he let him do, and Lamar was just so excited," said Lopez.
Lopez said Trooper Gardner even stayed until they were in a new car and back on the road. As they pulled off, Richardson made a surprising admission.
"He was like, 'I want to be a cop.' And that's all he's been saying since then is 'I want to be cop,'" said Lopez.
The family posted the story on Facebook, wanting to acknowledge the trooper who went above and beyond to help them -- and made quite the impression on young Lamar Richardson. They said the trooper's wife also posted that she was so emotional seeing her husband come home with a happier story than normal.
"She was so happy to hear about him being happy when he got home for helping us and making my little cousin want to be a cop," said Lopez.