An Arlington mother got more than she expected after she was pulled over nearly two weeks ago. Instead of writing the woman a ticket for broken car seats, the officer bought her new ones.
Alexis Jones says she knew her car seats were in really bad shape and was waiting until black Friday to go out and get new ones. But an Arlington police officer got to her first.
When Jones saw flashing lights in her rearview mirror on November 25 on Center Street, she was worried.
“I was already nervous about the kids being unstrapped because Amia — she comes out of her car seat, and he was too big for his,” the mom said.
Jones was with her 3-year-old daughter and her 9-month-old son, and Arlington Police Officer Brandon Gilbert was ready to write her a ticket.
“The car seat was broken. It was a very old car seat,” the officer said. “And there really wasn’t any way of restraining the child that was inside the car seat because it was broken.”
Jones already had outstanding traffic citations and was trying to manage a new job and a new apartment. The dash cam shows the officer putting the car seat on the hood of the patrol car and helping her with it.
“I thought about taking enforcement action,” Gilbert admitted. “But then I thought that’s not gonna help her.”
But it wasn’t until he got home that Officer Gilbert decided he needed to respond — not as an officer, but as a fellow parent.
“I’m a father, and I was talking to my wife about it. And I just felt like I needed to do something,” Gilbert said.
And he did.
“They came over with two big boxes of car seats and stuffed animals,” Jones said. “And I was just in total shock. It was just it was amazing, actually.”
Gilbert used his own money to buy two car seats. He brought them over to her house and showed her how to install them.
“Lord willing I don’t, but if I was to get in a car accident, they would be safe,” Jones said. “I just feel so much better every time I drive my car.”
It was an act of love and kindness that Jones says made all the difference in the world.
“Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help,” Jones said. “Don’t ever be afraid to accept help from someone.”
“This is why I became a police officer,” Gilbert said. “Because, ultimately, I wanted to help people.”