ALBEMARLE COUNTY, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- A Henrico County woman is expressing gratitude for an act of kindness from an Albemarle County Sheriff's deputy toward her young son.
Kate MacNeil brought her three-year-old son, Brady, to Charlottesville to see Highland Springs High School play in the 5A State Football Championship game at Scott Stadium.
A chance encounter with Albemarle County Deputy Lawrence Martin rescued an item Brady treasured.
The MacNeils had to walk from her vehicle to the stadium, and Brady was carrying his Michigan State football the whole way.
Unfortunately, when they reached the gate, event staff told the mother and son that he could not bring the ball into the stadium.
Staff said the only options were for the MacNeils to take the ball back to their vehicle or throw it out.
“I knew Brady could not do the walk back to the car and back to the stadium,” said Kate. “I had only one option, throw the football away. I promised to buy him a new one, but if he wanted to see the Championship game, we would need to throw it away. Brady did not cry, he did not stomp his feet or whine.”
Brady replied, “OK, Mommy.”
They were able to purchase tickets to the game and were heading toward their seats when they encountered Martin.
He told the MacNeils that his vehicle was parked near the front gate, and he would get Brady's football out of the trash and keep it for them in his car.
“I was so thankful to this man. This deputy cared and went out of his way to save a football and make my son happy, which made this Mommy so happy,” said Kate.
Martin is a 28-year veteran of the Albemarle County Sheriff's Office.