An Arlington police officer is popular on social media Thursday because of a video that shows he gave a teenager caught smoking marijuana in a movie theater parking lot an unorthodox alternative to being arrested: pushups.
Officer Eric Ball was working off-duty Monday night at the theater in Arlington when someone told him that a teenager was smoking marijuana outside, WFAA-TV reported. Ball went outside to find the teen finishing a cigarette and discarding it, and Ball smelled marijuana when he approached him.
“You out here in front of the door smoking weed. What are you thinking? That was dumb,” Ball told KDFW-TV. “So you’re going to go to jail for something dumb today.”
An Arlington police spokesman, Lt. Christopher Cook, said the teen was respectful and realized he made a mistake, leading Ball to give him an option other than being arrested.
“He said, ‘You give me 200 pushups, I won’t put you in jail,’ ” Cook said. “He could have very well arrested this teen, but instead he tried to do something better.”
The teenager’s name was not known, and he is about 17 or 18 years old.
“It’s easy to arrest folks,” Ball told KDFW-TV. “But it’s harder to change someone.”
Ball then found the teen’s mother inside the theater and told her what happened. She gave the officer a hug and thanked him, gave her son a stern warning and told Ball she would’ve made him do 1,000 push-ups, KDFW reported.