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On Monday night, Officer Eric Ball was working an off-duty job at a local movie theater, where a teenager was smoking marijuana outside, according to the Star-Telegram.
When Ball approached the young man outside, the officer saw him throw away a cigarette and smelled marijuana, WFAA reported.
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Arlington police spokesman Lt. Christopher Cook told the Star-Telegram that the teen was respectful, so the officer gave him the option of doing 200 pushups instead of going to jail.
"He could have very well arrested this teen, but instead he tried to do something better," Cook told the paper.
The young man, who was not named, was believed to be about 17 or 18 years old. Even his mom thanked Ball and gave him a hug, saying she would have made her son do more pushups, according to WFAA.
Texas Officer Gives Pot-Smoking Teen A Choice: Jail Or 200 Pushups
A Texas police officer decided to give a teenager a second chance after catching the boy smoking pot in a movie theater parking lot.
To avoid a trip to the police station and a marijuana citation on his record, however, the teen had to do 200 pushups.
Arlington Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. VaNessa Harrison told The Huffington Post that the officer, Eric Ball, was working an off-duty job Monday evening when he encountered the teen, who had a tiny amount of pot. When confronted, the boy showed respect for the officer and remorse for his actions, according to Harrison.
A portion of the encounter was filmed and posted to Facebook earlier this week by Arlington resident Raiza Paredez. Harrison said Paredez asked to record the officer’s actions so that she could show it to her children, who she said do not trust the police.
In the video below, which as of Thursday had been viewed more than 150,000 times, the boy is seen struggling to complete his pushup punishment.
“This is what they used to do back in the day when we played football in high school,” the officer says in the video. “Coaches make you do pushups, you think twice about doing certain stuff ... especially when you can get off with a second chance.”
Harrison said the jail-or-pushups approach was “very outside of the box,” but Officer Ball felt it would be more effective in this case.
“We’re very happy that this officer elected to use his discretion to have a more impactful result,” she told HuffPost.
Along with her video, Paredez wrote, “We need more cops like this.”
Texas officer lets teen do 200 pushups to avoid pot citation
ARLINGTON, Texas - A North Texas police officer recently gave a teenager the option of being cited for marijuana possession or doing 200 pushups after the boy was caught smoking pot outside a movie theater.
Big UP's to the Arlington Police Officer that made the young black guy that decided to smoke weed on the movie theater parking lot to do push-ups then take him to jail or shoot him just Cuz. We need more cops like this. #Policeeverywhereneedtotakenotes #ArlingtonPoliceDept
The teen opted for the pushups Monday after Arlington officer Eric Ball smelled the odor of marijuana.
Police Lt. Christopher Cook says Ball was working an off-duty detail at the theater when he encountered the teen. He found the boy’s mother inside and the woman hugged and thanked the officer.
Cook says the boy was respectful and realized he’d made a mistake. He says Ball played football under coaches who used pushups to ensure discipline.
A video showing the teen struggling to complete the pushups was posted on Facebook and has been viewed more than 100,000 times.