One good turn deserves ... a police investigation into human trafficking?
That's what happened to Rolando Garcia, 44, the owner of a trucking company in Irwindale, California.
After a five-hour meeting at his firm last week, Garcia decided to throw his staff a barbecue, so he went to the Baja Ranch Market in Covina to pick up some carne asada with a friend, a pastor from Texas who was visiting Garcia.
On their way into the store, the two men spotted a mother with a 2-year-old son who, Garcia told the Los Angeles Times, looked so much like his own son that he had to stop and compliment him.
Feeling expansive, Garcia pulled out a $100 bill and handed it to the mother, suggesting that she buy something nice for the child.
She refused to take the money, so Garcia dropped it into her shopping cart before entering the shop with his friend.
The woman, however, thought the two men were attempting to buy her son and reported the interaction to Covina police, who released a description of the two men along with a screen grab taken from the store's video camera.
They found Garcia, questioned him on Monday and realized that a case of human trafficking was actually a case of human error.
According to the Times, Sgt. Gregg Peterson said the mother just thought she “was protecting her child."
Garcia is a Cuban immigrant who came to the U.S. in 1995 and worked in a supermarket stocking shelves before starting his own business.
He explained that his personal success was made possible by the generosity of other people, and, as a consequence, “If I have a $100 in my pocket, I don’t think twice ... to give it away.”
Despite the inconvenience, Garcia believes the mother was just doing what she had to do to protect her son.
“Honestly, if I see her again,” he told the Times, “I would say ‘You did the right thing.’”
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