It is stories like this that show true heros! This story had me in tears at Georgian Trooper…
A 25-year-old Georgian trooper is being called a hero, for giving four children a halloween that they will never forget.
This past Halloween night, Donald and Crystal Howard left their children who were 13, 10, 8, and 6 years old at home while they ran to the store to pick up face paint and more candy for trick-or-treaters. They had a fatal accident and ran off the road, and hit a tree.
Trooper Nathan Bradley was tasked with informing the next of kin, but when he got to the house, he had another thought:
“A county deputy, the deputy coroner and myself made our way to the house that was backed into the woods. You could hear dogs barking behind the wooden door as we knocked with desperation. The door hesitantly opened and there behind the locked screen door stood four children in full costume – a 13-year-old Freddy Krueger, 10-year-old daughter of a Dracula, 8-year-old wizard and a 6-year-old that appeared to be a firefighting ninja turtle. We were lost with words. The deputy then asked the eldest boy if anybody was home, hoping for a ‘Yes’ but the boy would unknowingly disappoint us. ‘My parents went to the store to get more face paint. They told us not to open the door for anybody, but they should be back soon.’
We would stall for the next hour while we frantically search the national databases for the closest relative. We were able to reach the kids’ paternal grandmother. She had wished for my call to be a cruel Halloween Prank. I urged her to please come to the house and claim custody of the children. She informed me that she lived in south Florida, but would be on her way. During my phone conversation, I watched through my windshield as the three youngest children ran around the yard, laughing.
Knowing that he’d have to call Child Protective Services and that the children would have to spend the night in jail until the grandmother arrived, Officer Bradley did something unheard of “I pulled the deputy coroner to the side and told him that I was split. I wanted to preserve these kids’ Halloween and the ones to come. I suggested that I’d care for them until their family was able to. Being a retired commander with the state patrol, I desired his approval, which he eagerly gave.”
Officer Bradley asked the grandmother’s if they could wait to tell the children till she arrived.
“The first thing I said was, ‘Hey lets go get something to eat,'” Bradley shared with 11 Alive News. “They said, ‘My parents will be here soon.’ I said, ‘Your grandma wants you to hang out with me till she gets here.”
He took them exactly to where they wanted to go… McDonald’s for french fries and to Burger King for a Whopper with onions. The kids watched movies and ate Halloween candy at the police station and had a sleepover. Officer Bradley spent those seven hours watching the kids and giving them the best Halloween he could possibly offer. The children told him, “You turned an F-Minus day into an A-Plus night! I can’t begin to explain how hard it was to hear that, considering the night would be memorable but for reasons that were yet to be disclosed to them.”
Officer Bradley and the children’s grandmother decided to wait to tell them the news until the next morning on Nov. 1st.
Once he heard how much it would cost to have the children move to Florida and have to bury the parents, he then set up a GoFundMe page. He has raised close to $70,000.
“It’s the first time in the line of duty I told someone I loved them, and I do love them,”Bradley said. “I care about them a lot.” And we’re certain those children know it.