Photo of Detroit police officer helping man with tie outside of courthouse goes viral

Photo of Detroit police officer helping man with tie outside of court goes viral

DETROIT – One Detroit police officer is being praised for helping a young man who was trying to learn how to tie a tie.

Cpl. Eric O’Neal is a K-9 unit officer with the Detroit Police Department but recently he was in the right place at the right time.

“I was there at 36th District Court for an exam for myself that we had,” O’Neal said.

As the officer was leaving, he noticed a young man who was in need of a hand.

“This young man came up and said ‘Does anybody know how to tie a tie?’,” he said. “Initially I had tried to tie it on him. It never works that way. So I put it around my neck, tied it. I put it around his neck and he kind of stood there for a second. So I flipped his collar up, got it squared away. Showed him what part of the tie to pull to make it longer.”

The moment was captured on camera with someone inside the courthouse snapping a pic and posting it on social media.

“It was almost a little embarrassing that they got a picture that I didn’t even see where it came from. I just kind of heard about it after,” O’Neal said.

The young man’s mother said he’s been trying to use YouTube to get the hang of tying a tie for weeks.

“You can watch YouTube for a lot. For some reason, trying to tie a tie ... you can stare in a mirror all day and sometimes it doesn’t work,” O’Neal said.

The mother said he’s even closer because of one final lesson with a police officer.

“She was in the parking lot with him and she actually waved and said ‘Thank you so much. He’s been working on it all morning and he couldn’t get,’” O’Neal said. “It’s not a problem. Something as simple as that -- to be able to help -- officers on this job do it every day.”

While O’Neal did not ask for any recognition, he said he’s happy to shed some light on the good work that police officers are doing.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.