July 16, 2019 5:03 pm
Updated: July 16, 2019 5:11 pm

Teenager who spent birthday in jail gets surprise from Coquitlam RCMP

Cp. Michael McLaughlin with Coquitlam RCMP said the boy has a history with police

File / Global News
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A 15-year-old boy who spent the weekend in jail got a heartwarming surprise from Coquitlam RCMP officers.

Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said the boy has a history with police, and when he was arrested, one officer in particular noticed the teen’s birthday was in less than 24 hours.

That officer? Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik.

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“He went out and with his own money bought him a cake and a card and right at the stroke of midnight he knocked on his cell and made sure he had a birthday surprise,” said McLaughlin.

After that, he says, Vadik sat with the boy and talked to him about overcoming life’s challenges.

“The teenager was apparently quite touched,” McLaughlin said. “Obviously this is something he didn’t expect when you go to jail — you don’t expect someone to care so much they’re gonna go and celebrate your birthday.

“When you know Staff Sgt. Vadik, he is the type who makes time to go talk to people. We do have members in the force who are like this and Staff Sgt. Vadik is a good example,” McLaughlin continued.

“He didn’t just go down there once to go and check to make sure the kid was OK, he went there over the course of the weekend multiple times. He made sure he checked up on him and got to know him. So this was something that happened over the course of days; it wasn’t a one-time thing.”

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McLaughlin said when the teen was released, Vadik gave him his contact information so he could reach out if he ever needed help.

“The staff sergeant is hoping they kind of had a connection there because no matter if you’ve had trouble with the police, we actually would like to see you succeed and in this case, the staff sergeant is sincerely hoping that this young guy can turn his life around and he wants him to know that he’ll be there.”

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