A Connecticut police officer is the star of a now-viral photo and he is the most surprised of anyone.
Police officer Michael Castillo, of Ansonia, Conn., was captured on camera Monday in his uniform, down on bended knee helping a group of boys fix the chain on one of their bicycles.
Castillo, 27, and a three-year police veteran, was called to a local Target Monday night amid a report of a fight outside the store. He says when he got to the store he saw a group of young boys he recognized from the neighborhood.
“I asked if they were fighting and they said, ‘No, we’re just playing … we’re all friends,’” Castillo told ABC News.
The officer noticed that a chain on one of the boys’ bikes was twisted so he says he just turned the bike over and bent down to fix it.
“I fixed the chain and tightened up the tire and told them, ‘Alright guys, go play somewhere else besides the Target parking lot,’” Castillo said. “They’re good kids.”
What Castillo did not know is that a passerby, Faith Taylor, snapped a photo of the moment. She also posted it to the police department’s Facebook page.
“Not sure what officer this is, but it's nice to see an officer in a good and kind way,” Taylor wrote alongside the photo. “This guy takes 'to serve and protect' to heart.”
Taylor, a resident of nearby Shelton, Conn., says she posted the photo in hopes Castillo would be recognized for his good deed.
"I was hoping he'd get acknowledgement for it because how often does that happen," she said. "Everyone is willing to take a picture when a cop messes up, but that does not seem as prevalent when they do good."
"It was an amazing community police effort to show kids that they matter, that you can trust the police and ask them for help and that is what they're there for," Taylor added.
Castillo says he was not aware of the photo until he started getting calls and texts from colleagues and family members about the post, which now has nearly 1,000 likes and has been shared hundreds of times.
“I didn’t expect this,” he said of the attention. “I just saw the kids, they needed some help, I helped the kids.”
“It was something small to me,” Castillo added. “It’s not the first time I’ve ever done something like this and it definitely won’t be the last."