It was high noon on an unseasonably hot late September Sunday and it was time, finally, for 12-year-old Cristien Quarterman's birthday, which fell two weeks earlier, to be celebrated.
As Quarterman and four friends tossed a football around on a field off 10 Mile and Hoover, two Warren police officers who'd been patrolling the area, Zachary Lemond and Daniel Rose, stopped, turned around, and got out of their car.
It wasn't that the boys had done anything wrong, just that they looked like they could use a few extras. They asked the boys if they could join, and the boys said yes. Despite the high-80s heat, join they did, playing football with the boys for a half-hour before getting back to their rounds.
Cristien's mother, Paula Quarterman, 36, took pictures of the "game" and posted it to Facebook.
"Police just drove by...saw all the kids playing football. Turned around and parked. They've been playing with them for over 10 minutes and still going," Quarterman wrote in the midst of the fun.
Quarterman said the boys, all pre-teens, were "ecstatic and couldn't believe" the officers took the time.
"For the rest of their lives, they will realize that cops are good, not bad guys," Quarterman said.
Warren Police Chief William Dwyer said, in a statement on the cop-crashed party, that "this is just another great example of Warren Police Officers strengthening the relationship between Officers and the people they serve.”
Before the officers left, Cristien, his grandfather Paul, and his four friends took pictures with the officers. Paula sent them off with thanks and ice-cold soda.
In the picture, Cristien is the boy wearing the white New York Mets shirt, which his mother says was a Christmas gift.
"His dad's from New York, so we always fight about New York vs. the Detroit Tigers," Quarterman said. "Thankfully, he doesn't like the Yankees."