Warwick heroes honored

By on March 20, 2019

With an estimated crowd of some 40,000 at Lititz Fire & Ice on Feb. 15, it wasn’t the best night to get lost in downtown Lititz.

For a Bonfield Elementary School first grader, it was a pretty scary experience.

Lucky for him, three Warwick Middle School seventh graders were about to become his heroes.

The three boys, Taityn Haak, Lucas Merritt, and Michael Liles, noticed that the little boy was lost. So they stepped up and gave the younger boy the help he needed.

Lititz Borough Police officers were so impressed with what the older boys did to help the lost child that they awarded the three teens with the first-ever LBPD Citizenship Award on March 8. The unsuspecting teens were waiting in line for lunch at the middle school, when Warwick School District Police Officer Kenneth Wolfe, Lititz Borough Sgt. Stephen Detz, and Warwick School District Superintendent April Hershey were suddenly there to present the awards.

Warwick Middle School students receive the first Lititz Borough Police Citizenship Awards. From left to right, Dr. April Hershey, Taityn Haak, Lucas Merritt, Michael Liles, Sgt. Stephen Detz and Officer Ken Wolfe

“They were very surprised,” said Wolfe, adding that all the students, faculty, and lunch room staff applauded the young heroes. “They certainly deserved it.”

The saga of the lost boy began when the child got separated from his parents at the crowded Lititz Fire & Ice. Merritt was the first to notice the boy was lost. He and his friends were walking past Wilbur Chocolate, when he saw that the boy was alone, and clearly upset. The boy told them he couldn’t find his parents.

That’s when the three boys decided to help him. They stayed with the boy, kept him calm, and asked him questions to help figure out how to reunite him with his parents. As they were waiting outside the Lititz Borough Police station, a Bonfield teacher Kimberly Stively came by. She knew the little boy and offered to help. She was able to track down the parents’ phone number to call them.

Stively was impressed with the way the older boys stayed with the lost child. They waited until his father got there, and even entertained him while they waited, assuring the little boy was his father was on the way. The relieved parents were grateful for what the older boys did for their son.

Stively didn’t know the older boys at the time, but she got their names and contacted Lititz Borough Police to let them know what had happened. The police quickly agreed that the teens should be awarded for their service to the community.

“We had been thinking about starting citizenship awards for students and staff at the schools,” said Wolfe. “This was exactly the type of situation that deserves a citizenship award.”

So, Taityn Haak, Lucas Merrit, and Michael Liles became the first to receive Lititz Borough Police Citizenship Awards. And a little boy and his family are forever grateful.

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the pages of the Record Express. She welcomes feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com. 

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