Cameron Simmons was undeniably upset when he called. The 13-year-old threatened to run away from home once he got hold of emergency services.
A concerned officer made the trip to meet him and was surprised to find that he had made the call from a shop phone instead of his home phone. Why had he run away crying?
Good At His Job
Officer Gaetano Acerra was a recent addition to the force, quickly gaining respect from his teammates. He did his job well.
The 24-year-old answered the call without knowing it would change his career forever. His line of work meant dealing with tricky situations, but he was caught unprepared for this one.
When his shift started, officer Acerra anticipated an easy-going day. He looked forward to it, considering the intense weeks that had just passed, finding no joy in the tragedy.
Things would not be as he’d hoped. That day, he would face something he never thought he’d have to encounter.
A Good Example
This young police officer aimed to prevent crime before it even started. He believed it was easier that way and spent many hours teaching others, especially teens, that choosing a path of crime was not the way to go.
He volunteered at a youth education organization and frequently highlighted how choosing the wrong path would become dangerous. He strived to set an example for the kids.
Cameron Simmons made a call to 911 while he was distraught. His decision to make the call would bring him face to face with officer Acerra.
When on the line with the emergency service, he said he couldn’t take it anymore. He threatened to run away from home. Something was wrong, and they had to figure out what.
Gaetano Acerra was assigned the case and dispatched. He wasted no time and quickly drove to where the boy’s location.
The officer thought that the boy would be home with a family member. He recalled some dangerous teenagers from his experience as a cop and thought himself prepared for anything. He could tell something was wrong as soon as he arrived.
Not At Home
Acerra was concerned and responded as quickly as he could only to find that the boy had not called from his home, but from a store phone.
He had already left, and the 13-year-old did not intend to return home. He cried and yelled out his frustrations at ending up in a terrible situation.
There To Help
The teenager grew angrier when he spotted the approaching cop. Despite not knowing what help he was expecting, this wasn’t it. All he knew was that he wanted to leave his home.
When the officer finally managed to calm the boy down, he explained that he was there to help. However, the boy still intended to run away, but the cop asked him to make a compromise.
Start Of The Story
He asked the boy why he ran away from home once he managed to get him to talk. The boy was hesitant before he agreed to answer the question.
Cameron explained that his mother had disciplined him for using his brother’s gaming system without permission. It seemed a trivial scenario, but that small argument was the final straw for Cameron, who felt pushed to run away. There was a lot more to this story.
A Clearer Picture
The officer convinced the 13-year-old to let him take him home. That way, he could see for himself and gain some clarity on what the real story was.
They pulled up to the boy’s house and walked inside. It was clear to the cop that things were worse than he’d thought. The boy had not been exaggerating.
The Real Reason
Apparently, Cameron Simmons had had enough of living in that house. His room was in terrible condition, and he was mad at his mother for making him stay there.
The cop couldn’t believe the boy had to live like that. It was an unfortunate situation to be in, and he knew he had to do something to help.
An Awful State
The boy took the cop to his room, which was only four walls, two windows, and a hardwood floor. Acerra was shocked. It was just empty.
The 13-year-old had his clothes on the ground in a black garbage bag. The officer asked him where he slept, and he said, ‘Sometimes on the couch and sometimes on a blow-up mattress.’
It turned out the boy’s family had just moved from Texas to South Carolina to help take care of a sick family member. His mother, a deeply religious woman, was experiencing devastating financial hardships.
Acerra knew he couldn’t just leave the child’s life without doing something. So, without Cameron or his family’s knowledge, Acerra got to work.
When he came around later, Cameron was shocked. Not only did he now have a bed and comforter to sleep in, but he also had a desk, chair, a TV, and a video game console.
The kid was in tears, and officer Acerra was happy he could help. He actually bought furniture for Cameron’s brother too. The entire family was grateful for the incredibly kind gesture.
As if that wasn’t enough, Acerra spoke about the boy on social media, where the post went viral. Many around the world reached out, asking how they could contribute to the family. People praised Acerra for his act of generosity. He was truly an example of how every cop should be. He did not only make that boy respect the profession but wished he would become a man like officer Acerra one day.
In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.