Owensboro police officer helps theft victim

Owensboro police officer helps theft victim

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - Shawna Riley woke up Tuesday morning to see her car had been broken into- her children’s Christmas gifts stolen and a bracelet to remember her deceased son gone too.

Riley reluctantly filed a police report and Officer Philip Walling showed up.

“This one really got to me where I was like I need to do something for this lady," Walling said.

So Walling wrote the report and went about his day, but something had him coming back to the broken-hearted mother.

“I told her, hey I’ve been thinking about you and your kids throughout the day, your situation," Walling said. "And that’s whenever I was like I don’t know if it will be able to replace everything, but hopefully it’ll be able to help you replace some of the things that were taken.”

Walling handed her $100 out of his own pocket.

“He didn’t have to do it," Riley said. "He has children at home that he has to worry about and provide for everyday. And worry about their Christmas, he didn’t have to worry about mine. And of course, even though it’s just $100, it took a huge weight off my back.”

“I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special, I just feel like I was doing my job," Walling said.

Walling said when he started as an officer here 11 years ago, a local church helped him during Christmas time. He felt this was his chance to pay it forward.

“It felt good that I was able to give back," he said. "And somehow repay that favor that was done to me years ago to help somebody else out.”

And Riley says she wants Officer Walling to be remembered and celebrated for his good deed.

“We hear a lot of bad things about officers," she said. "I’ve been on both sides of the fence. He didn’t have to do what he did, and he did. Out of his own pocket, out of his own heart. And for them, that means the world to me.”

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