Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A heartbroken little girl got a sticker - and much more - from an alert local deputy last May.
Lael, a six-year-old student at Arden Elementary School at the time, received a gift bag of books, including a crossword puzzle book and a word search puzzle book, from her school guidance counselor, according to her mom, Denise Muller. A bit later, Lael was happy to let another little girl look at the books when she asked. Sadly, the other little girl took Lael's books and left.
Muller says her daughter was distraught over losing her new books when she picked Lael up from school that day. As she drove to a local sub shop, Lael wouldn't stop crying. And that's where Deputy Gavin Walmsley, who works with the Richland County Sheriff's K9 Unit, come in.
Deputy Walmsley noticed the little girl crying as he left the sub shop, and he stopped to find out what was wrong. After Muller explained what had upset Lael so, he stooped down and asked Lael to tell him about it. She did, and Deputy Walmsley assured Lael they would get to the bottom of the situation.
Seeing that Lael was still crying, Walmsley offered her a deputy badge sticker to help calm her down. And then, he asked her for a hug. Muller said Lael felt better after talking with the deputy. Lael said it made her feel "good and happy."
The next day, after explaining what had happened to the guidance counselor, the books were recovered and returned to a very happy Lael.
Almost a year later, "She still remembers that day and how the officer helped her," says Lael's mother. An added bonus? Muller's then twenty-year-old son was also in the car and "he said that really impressed him," she said.
Muller often wants to thank that deputy, which is why she posted a photo from that day on the WLTX Facebook page. Just a few moments of Deputy Walmsley’s time created a lasting impression on Lael and her family.
As nice as that experience was, who knows what Walmsley might have discovered under different circumstances – just by spending a few minutes to check on a crying child. Denise Muller appreciates that as much as she appreciates Walmsley comforting her daughter.
"These are the times that makes putting on the uniform all worthwhile; it’s the little things that sometimes mean the most, said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott. "Having deputies realize this is what makes the Richland County Sheriff’s Department a cut above. We may never know what we will encounter during our days or nights, but the one thing that’s for certain, we want to do more than just say, it’s a job…but rather, it’s our job."
Well done, Deputy Walmsley.
© 2018 WLTX-TV