PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - Philadelphia police went above and beyond when they helped a teen prank his mom while surprising her with his high school diploma.
The Southwest Philly mom was shocked when 18th District officers showed up with her 17-year-old son, Ruben, in the backseat.
"We're going to bring him out the car and let him explain what's going on," said Sergeant Sharone Johnson. The video is posted on social media and shows what happened next.
"That's what we came here for. Ruben got his high school diploma today. Yes, I just wanted to say congratulations, again," Sergeant Johnson said to Ruben as he surprised his mom with his high school diploma.
It took mom a few minutes to realize that Sergeant Johnson escorted her son home with good news. She finally stands to hug her son.
"Oh my goodness! Boy, you was getting ready to get it," his mom said as she laughed.
On Wednesday, Ruben and his mom, Danielle, were still in awe over everything that happened.
"I was like I always told my mom I was going to play a good prank on her and this was the day," said Ruben Beck-Lyons. His mom said, "First, I was thinking oh my goodness it's some trouble. Please do not lock my son up. I was nervous."
Getting his high school diploma is an opportunity he's grateful for because he wasn't going to graduate with his class next month.
"I had went away for a couple of weeks because I got in some trouble. When I came back the school told me I was failing and I might not be able to walk for graduation," said Ruben.
Thanks to a program started by Sergeant Johnson and others at the 18th district Ruben enrolled in GED classes. FOX 29 cameras were there yesterday for the program's first graduating class of 14, including Ruben.
"I said, listen I'm going to be checking on you. I'm going to make sure you finish. I said I'm going to see you at the finish line so just to see the students yesterday receive their high school diplomas it was an amazing feeling," said Sergeant Johnson. It's a feeling Ruben and his mom will cherish.
"Overwhelmed. Tears of joy because as young black men you try to guide them in the right way and hopefully they take them steps and this is what he's done," said Danielle. Ruben says he wants to be a nurse. The next thing he plans to surprise his mom with is a college degree.
If you're interested in the Philadelphia Police 18th District GED program, please call (215) 686-3180.