Boy calls 911, says he wanted to hug a deputy

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — A deputy responding to a disconnected 911 call in Florida got a surprise Wednesday when he learned a young boy had called the emergency line to give him a hug.

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The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released footage showing Deputy Scott Pracht responding to the call just before 1 p.m. at a home in Riverview.

“Everything OK?” he asks a woman identified as the boy’s mother. “We had a 911 call come from here.”

In the video, taken from body camera footage and the home’s Ring Doorbell camera, the woman calls for her son to ask if he had called police. He answers that he had.

“Well, I wanted to give him a hug!” he says, prompting a laugh from Pracht. The deputy obliges as the boy’s mom checks his phone to confirm he had made the call.

“I know what your phone number is: 911,” the boy says.

“Yeah, but you know what that’s for? It’s if you’re in trouble and you need help, or if somebody you know is around you and that’s in trouble and needs help,” Pracht tells him. “It’s very important. You got to be careful when you call that number, OK?”

He gives the boy a fist bump as the boy apologizes.

“It’s OK, kid,” Pracht says. “Don’t worry about it.”

Deputies said the incident “exemplifies the strong bond between Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the community they serve.”

Sheriff Chad Chronister shared a reminder Thursday that 911 is to be used in emergencies only, and encouraged parents to talk to their children about appropriately using the number.

“We deeply appreciate the genuine kindness shown by this young child,” he added. “Our deputies are more than willing to share a hug and spread love to children in our community.”