Miami-Dade County

The cops stopped these kids at a Miami shopping center. There was a heartwarming end

Ian Paragon, 2, runs toward Miami officer Lauren Miller outside Sabor Tropical Supermarket in Miami Dec. 24, 2018, to get a special holiday surprise.
Ian Paragon, 2, runs toward Miami officer Lauren Miller outside Sabor Tropical Supermarket in Miami Dec. 24, 2018, to get a special holiday surprise. cteproff@miamiherald.com

Dressed in a red and green “Christmas sweater,” 6-year-old Jonah Ruiz clutched his toy guitar and smiled ear-to ear.

“I’m so happy,” he said. “I like the police officers.”

The reason: A trip to the supermarket with his mom ended with a surprise giveaway Monday by two officers stationed in the parking lot of Sabor Tropical Supermarket in Miami.

“It’s great thing for the kids to see officers in a positive light,” said Jonah’s mom, Kaishia Ruiz. “They’re spreading a lot of positivity.”

The stop was part of a special detail Monday to hand out gifts to children in the Upper Eastside of the city. Sgt. Anton Forbes and officer Lauren Miller handed out stuffed animals, craft sets, trucks and puzzles from front seat of a patrol car.

“It means a lot to us to help those in need by spreading a little holiday spirit by giving back,” said Kiara Delva, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department. “Understanding our community helps foster empathy, which is a skill everyone should strive to improve.”

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.


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