FRANKLIN, Ohio – A police officer went the extra mile to make sure a 7-year-old boy was safe after finding him trying to sell his toys in a busy downtown area.
Officer Steve Dunham with the Franklin Police Department in Ohio responded to a call about a young boy wandering around the city’s downtown area, WLWT reports. When he found the boy, he was trying to sell his teddy bear so he could eat.
“It broke my heart,” Dunham told WLWT. “He told me he was trying to sell his stuffed animal to get money for food because he hadn’t eaten in several days.”
Dunham bought a meal for the boy at a nearby Subway restaurant, then brought him back to the police department.
“We said a prayer and ate dinner together,” Dunham told WLWT.
Investigators found the boy and his four brothers living in deplorable conditions, citing roaches, urine and liquor bottles littering their home.
The parents, Tammy and Michael Bethel, are charged with 10 counts of child endangerment. Police say the boys are now in the care of family members.