Off-duty Detroit officer calms young accident victim

By Will Jones - Reporter

DETROIT - Just take a moment to look at the photo capturing a human connection that goes beyond words.

A 10-year-old boy was frightened and banged up after a car accident. He was in need of comfort. A Detroit police officer followed an instinct that goes much deeper than his uniform.

Alana Beard and her four children were on the road to school Thursday morning when they were involved in a crash with another car at 7 Mile Road and Wildemere on Detroit's west side.

"The instinct of a father. The instinct of a man. And the instinct of a human being," said Lt. Joe Tucker.

Tucker was in his personal car -- off-duty -- when he drove by the accident scene. The 22-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department saw Johntez Byrd alone on the ground, and this special moment was born.

"The neighbors were tending to the other children and the young man was still sort of alone. He was crying and nervous, so I laid down next to him," said Tucker.

Johntez said Tucker asked him if he wanted to watch a motorcycle video on his phone.

Detroit EMS took the family to the hospital.

The mother was so moved by what Tucker did she later found him on Facebook.

"Because I wanted to thank him and I wanted him to know that we really appreciated that," said Alana Beard.

An accident that brought two strangers together for just a moment perhaps left a lifetime of impact.

"Thanks for helping me ... thanks for letting me play with his iPhone," said Johntez.

Tucker comes from a long line of police officers. His mother, father and grandmother were all Detroit police officers.

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