A Kaufman police officer is off the job Thursday following an incident connected to an arrest he refused to make.
Sgt. Nick Stevens responded to a shoplifting call at a Kaufman Walmart on Wednesday afternoon. Investigators say the alleged thief stole a turkey leg and Gatorade. He told the officer it was because he hadn't eaten in two days.
Instead of arresting the man, Stevens paid for the food out of his own pocket, issued a warning and released him.
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But Walmart wanted to press charges.
The police department issued a statement praising Stevens for his compassion and said his suspension was not related to his decision to help the man. The department said Stevens was suspended for something that happened back at the station while discussing the incident.
In a statement, the sergeant's lawyer tells NBC 5 that Stevens, "Embodies everything we want and ask for in a public servant. We should celebrate his compassion and kindness."