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Watch: Ga. officer raises money to buy PlayStation for teen working to buy clothes for siblings

Keonte Evans is the oldest of six children and takes an active role in helping his single mother with his siblings


By Avani Kalra
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

HAPEVILLE, Ga. — When Keonte Evans’ mother heard her teenager was brought home in a police car, she was terrified.

“I was like, ‘What’s going on,’” Gabrielle Evans said. “I was so scared.”

When the same police car pulled back up to her house just a few days later, it made her son’s day. The officer who had been sent to question Keonte Evans, 16, was so impressed with the teen’s politeness that he raised money to buy the teen a PlayStation.

Officer Eric Colleran of the Hapeville Police Department arrived at the scene of a criminal trespassing call last week, where he found Keonte Evans doing yard work. The teenager said he had been hired to trim hedges and pull weeds by the caller’s roommate — he wasn’t trespassing on anyone.

Evans told police he was working to earn some money to buy his five brothers and sisters clothes for school. A big gamer, Keonte Evans told Colleran his dream was to eventually earn enough money to purchase a PlayStation Five.

Keonte Evans is the oldest of six children and takes an active role in helping his single mother with his siblings, his mother said. She said she felt Keonte really deserved his own gaming console.

“I’m happy that my oldest finally got one, because I was trying to come up with the money to surprise him,” she said. “I gave the other ones a PlayStation Four for Christmas.”

Colleran said he was struck by the young man’s story and his demeanor. Colleran said in his everyday job not everyone is as respectful as Keonte Evans, so he was compelled to help him out.

“This kid was super respectful, and you don’t always get that these days,” Colleran said. “Where I work, you only deal with people, you know, usually in their worst moments. But when I pulled up to him, he didn’t run. He didn’t like get defensive. He had extremely, extremely good manners.”

After Colleran went home, he couldn’t stop thinking about Keonte Evans. He, too, is a gamer and said he appreciated Keonte Evans’ passion and hardworking spirit. So, he turned to social media.

After posting on Tik Tok and Facebook, he raised enough money to purchase a PlayStation.

“I see somebody when I saw him, and I knew it was gonna take him a while doing some yard work to be able to get what he wanted,” Colleran said. “So I just thought I could speed it up and do it for him and then whatever he you know, saves up doing yard work from now on, he can just spend straight on him and his other siblings.”

Colleran told Keonte Evans he would be checking in on him. So, when Keonte Evans saw the patrol car pull up in front of his house, he expected Colleran. But what he didn’t expect was a PlayStation.

After Colleran pulled the console out of his trunk, Evans gave him a hug, ran inside with the PlayStation, then ran outside to give Colleran another hug.

Colleran said raising money for the console took less than four days and fewer than six people.

“I think most people are just good people,” Colleran said. “They’re willing to give, even people that may not have enough to give all on their own, because they know that it only takes a few (dollars) to change somebody’s year.”

Evans’ mom said that it wasn’t necessarily even the new Playstation that struck her when she got home that night. She had forbidden Evans from doing yard work, afraid of another police call. She says she worries a lot about what could have happened to her son, and she was incredibly proud of the way her son handled the situation and the reward he’d received for it.

“It made me feel so, so good,” Gabrielle Evans said. “It made me feel like I did a good job raising my son. I was so shocked that the police had seen that in my son.”

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