As a police officer, you’re always prepared for the worst. Trained to handle sinister scenes and violent criminals, no two days are the same.
Especially not for Toby LaFave, a state police officer from Alberqueque, New Mexico, who is now a hero in his local community after making 137 DUI arrests in 2017 alone.
Yet, this extensive experience in pulling over drunk drivers didn’t prepare LaFave for what he found after pulling over a gold Cadillac on the Interstate 40.
The vehicle, which was traveling at 95 mph, caught LaFave’s attention as it weaved chaotically in and out of traffic one dark August evening.
To LaFave, who has been a patrolman for seven years, it was clear that the driver was intoxicated. So, he followed protocol and pulled the vehicle over. Little did he know what he’d find inside…
Watch the dashcam footage from the scene to see the moment LaFave made his disturbing discovery…
LaFave was overcome with emotion when he realized what he’d found. For him, the moment was a raw reminder of why he does what he does, for if he hadn’t have stopped that drunk driver that day, who knows what may have happened.
This is not the first time that LaFave has felt extremely overwhelmed by his work. Last year, the officer was honored at the state Capitol for his dedication to enforcing the law.
But whilst this award was certainly something to be proud of, it was his conversation with Paul Tolzmann that meant the most to LaFave. Earlier that year, LaFave had pulled over Tolzmann’s intoxicated son and arrested him for driving whilst under the influence.
LaFave’s actions that day have been celebrated by Tolzmann, who believes that the officer saved his son – and potentially other innocent victims – from harm that day. “They do an outstanding job,” Tolzmann said of the lawmen. |My son needed to be pulled off the streets.”
Speaking at the time, LaFave himself said: “It’s an honor to be thanked, especially by the parent of someone we have just arrested for DWI. We all strive to keep it respectful during a stop and I’m honored that Mr. Tolzmann is here and actually took a picture with me and thanked me. It makes it all worthwhile.”
We hope that he continues with his incredible work and that this incident doesn’t affect his work in the future.