Police Officer David Taylor was just doing his job, patrolling the International Rice Festival in Crowley, La., when an attendee brought to his attention a young child who had gotten lost in the crowd.
Taylor sprang into action, comforting the crying boy and putting him on his shoulders. “He was extremely upset. … I put him on my shoulders to see if he would be able to see his parents,” the officer told ABC News.
The child got so comfortable that in the time it took Taylor to identify his parents—about half an hour later—the boy had fallen asleep.
“He started to fall asleep, and I moved him down to my chest,” the officer explained.
People attending the festival were warmed by the sight of the big cop carrying around the small boy.
“Understand that he helped the little boy for quite a while until he found the mother, and that was just really great to see. He was just showing him the sights and holding him and keeping him comfortable,” Texas resident Betty Thomas told KLFY.
“I think it’s awesome because we hear so much negative things about our police officers today, so I’m happy to say that I’ve seen something that’s a positive image,” another attendee, Carolyn Senegal, told the news station. “That’s an officer going above and beyond the call of duty.”
The story went viral after a photo of Taylor holding the sleeping child was “liked” more than 5,000 times on Facebook, ABC notes. The modest cop, who has been with the Crowley Police Department only 18 months, told ABC that he was just doing his job. “What I was doing is nothing different from the rest of our law-enforcement colleagues. The only difference is that someone took a photo of me,” he said, brushing off praise.
The officer did note, however, that he hopes the uplifting messages he’s received will help change people’s view of the police. “If it shines a true light on what police officers do and can do, then [this attention] is a good thing,” he said.