When Officer Brandon Sheffert observed the young man in his teens running down a busy street in Peoria, Arizona, in September of 2014, everything began to unfold from there.
He had a sneaking suspicion that something fishy was going on, so he and his colleague decided to follow the child until they located him in a parking lot.
Anthony Schultz, who was just 16 years old at the time and officer Sheffert received the impression that Anthony was concealing some information from them.
The officer followed up by inquiring about the adolescent’s hobbies and his plans for the future after he had completed his high school education. The young guy gave off an impression of astonishment, as if no one had ever shown interest in him before.
Officer Sheffert could sense that the child wanted to talk to him about something, but he was aware that he was unable to coerce the young man into doing so. Anthony completed his run after the cops had left the scene.
Then, some weeks later, Officer Sheffert responded to a complaint about a domestic incident that had occurred at the residence.
Anthony Schultz’s presence in the house came as a complete surprise to him and it was filed by Anthony’s mother as there was alcohol there, so a youngster would not have benefited from being in that atmosphere.
After seeing the conditions in which Anthony was forced to live, Officer Sheffert made the decision that he wanted to improve the adolescent’s life and so began paying daily visits to him.
It was the first time in the young man’s life that he felt that someone really cared for him and, as a direct result of this, Anthony and the officer developed a genuine relationship with one another.
The atmosphere at home was tense and uncomfortable for Anthony as his mother had a habit of being evicted, which meant that his family had to regularly move since they had no choice but to pack up their stuff and relocate in the middle of the night.
The next evening, Anthony’s mother placed a phone call to Sheffert: “It came to the point where one night I receive a phone call, saying y ou really must come and get him. I just can’t put up with him any longer.”
Sheffert and his wife decided to open their house to the teenager Anthony in order to provide him with a safe haven.
“We have adopted him and made him a member of our family… Even my little ones refer to him as their older brother, and they couldn’t be happier about it.”
“I was able to look up to someone and use them as a model for my own behavior. I had a role model to work toward being like, “Anthony remarked.