SKOKIE, ILLINOIS — A gym calls local authorities on a young boy. However, the police’s actions nearly send gym employees into shock. He didn’t respond like they thought.
According to San Diego Union-Tribune, a 15-year-old teen had been sneaking into X-Sport Fitness in order to play basketball. The issue was that the teen didn’t have a membership.
The source says his mother had gotten him one. But, it had expired.
With this in mind, the gym reportedly warned the teen about sneaking onto the court. Employees said they’d call authorities if he continued.
Well, X-Sport Fitness’ employees did just that. Gym manager Justin Pritchett stated they had no choice but to call police.
Supposedly, according to Pritchett — the day after they warned the teen — he attempted to get on the court again.
He mentions that, at one point, the teen hid in a bathroom stall to escape fitness center employees, still wanting nothing more than to play basketball with his friends.
PO-PO ARRIVES, BUT IT’S NOT WHAT THEY EXPECT
Skokie police officer Mario Valenti is who responded to the call. However, after learning of the offense, Valenti didn’t want to make him leave at all.
It was a simple fix. Officer Valenti offered to pay $150 of his own money toward the teen’s membership. According to San Diego Union-Tribune, this would buy a four-month membership for the teen.
While amazed at the officer’s response, Pritchett called the corporate office to report the situation.
The source says corporate was so shocked that it made its own offer. X-Sport Fitness was going to honor the officer’s $150 toward a two-year membership — total value of $718 — and the company would pick up the rest of the cost.
***”No choice,” huh?”***
The source quotes Pritchett as follows.
“We all were flabbergasted here. I know X-Sport takes care of our members so after we ran a background check and found out he had had no other trouble, we went ahead.”
***SO…why didn’t they take care of the teen? If they were so compelled to help the basketball-loving child, why did they call police on the kid — especially knowing how police brutality has run rampant in America toward young Blacks??
They didn’t care enough for the teen’s well-being to even purchase him a one-month membership, well-knowing his mother could no longer afford the cost. Instead, they called authorities.
However, once Officer Valenti showed gym employees he wasn’t going to mistreat the teen over something so petty, NOOOOOOW they want to chip in and offer a WHOLE TWO-YEAR MEMBERSHIP to the teen. Really!? So full of BS.***
The source says they later learned that the teen attends a Chicago school and is an NBA hopeful — a skilled player who has received national attention.
***Funny how they didn’t mention his name, huh? The gym staff knows they f**ked up.***
Overall, Officer Valenti mentions as follows.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about gratitude. Most of us took this job to help people, not to hurt them. The job can be negative. For the most part, the job is dealing with good people having a very bad day so you’re not seeing the best side of people.”
And of course, the teenager was highly appreciative of Officer Valenti’s kindness — even where the gym’s staff was coarse prior to the officer’s gesture. Valenti’s act made the teenager rethink his attitude about police in general.
And being that this is a Greater Chicago Area, the officer says he’d rather have him playing ball than in the streets.
Great job, Officer Valenti. Thanks for realizing how petty the gym’s call was regarding the teen.
If you’d like to watch the video interview with all parties involved, you can follow the link.
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[Featured Photo via Twitter]