The sight of a hard-working grocery clerk in shoes that were taped together was just too much for an Alabama cop.
Cpl. Sebastian Goldman had just finished loading up on groceries for jail inmates when a 19-year-old store employee helped him place the bags into his car. It was pouring rain.
Goldman looked down, and saw one of the teen's shoes was wrapped in duct tape.
No, the young man told him. "I split my shoes," he said. "I was going to buy some more when I get paid."
The corporal mulled that over, but didn't say much. He thanked the teen for his help. He managed to work an innocent-sounding query into the conversation about the man's shoe size.
Goldman drove the groceries back to the jail. Then he went shopping for shoes.
Today's goal: to make a difference in the community like this Hueytown police officer did. https://t.co/xWLcPK6lS6— AL.com (@aldotcom) February 8, 2016
He picked up a pair of 12-and-a-half black sneakers and went back to Food Giant.
"I didn't know if he had to walk home in the rain or what," Goldman told the news site.
At the market, he handed over the shoes.
"What do I owe you?" the clerk asked. "I told him to just pay it forward," Goldman recalled.
"My granddaddy used to always say, 'You know where you've been, but you don't know where you're going,''' he said. "That stuck with me."
And that would have been that, if not for someone taking a photo of the moment and posting it on Facebook.
Hueytown Police Chief Chuck Hagler said he expected nothing less.
"I am pleased and proud of what he did, but not surprised," he said. "Good people act when they see a person in need and most police officers that I know are fundamentally good people."