PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- What started as a dance-off on a Frankford sidewalk between a Philadelphia police officer and a 5th-grade boy has turned into an adorable friendship.
(The video in the player above is from previous coverage that aired on Action News on January 26, 2022.)
Back in January, Hy'mier Bennett taught Philadelphia Police Officer Gary Mercado the "Shake It" dance and the video went viral.
While the pair vowed to do a dance-off months later, their friendship grew.
Bennett's mother says in the spring, the officer took time out of his schedule to come to his class and talk about the work they do.
And when it came time to graduate from John Marshall Elementary this month, Officer Mercado surprised him for the special day.
"I was kind of surprised," said Hy'mier. "I didn't know he was going to show up. I knew, but I didn't think that he was going to."
"It made me cry a little bit because I was like dang he really went out of his way and made sure he could be here for him," said the boy's mother, Shaquata Brown.
Along with a graduation present, Officer Mercado also recorded a video message to mark the special occasion saying in part: "Congratulations Hy'mier for graduating from the 5th grade and continue the great work you are doing."
He also made sure to remind him that hard work really does pay off!