"I recognize that bear. How are you? My name is Jason." Evansville Police Sergeant, Jason Cullum, meets eight year old, Nikki Mayo. She's there to say thank you, while hugging her teddy bear extra tight. "Can I get a hug? Thank you." Hugging her bear she almost lost, and hugging the officer who saved it. "I'm so happy that he found her," says Mayo.
Thanks to a dash cam rolling, thousands have watched the officer show his soft side, stopping for an object on I-164. It was Nikki's teddy bear in the busy roadway. Sergeant Cullum was able to catch up with her family down the road, who had been searching for the precious cargo, and safely return the bear.
Tonight, Nikki says thank you, because this bear is a special one. "This is the first bear I've ever had," says Mayo. 'Chocolate' the teddy bear has been with her since she was four. "We know the importance a teddy bear plays in society. They save the world sometimes. On that day the teddy bear needed saving," says Sergeant Cullum.
Reuniting a little girl and her bear, Cullum says a thank you was plenty enough.
"This has really turned into something way more than I thought it would have. I appreciate it that people are giving it positive attention. Seeing her holding that bear, not just holding it, but hugging it like she's never going to let it go, i'm really glad that I stopped," says Cullum.
"Thank you, Jason," says Mayo.
Sergeant Cullum says officers at the department are no strangers to teddy bears -- the toy is one of the first things they give to new officers to help