NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A story of lost and found has led to a lesson in honesty and integrity from an 8-year-old boy.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, Orange County fourth grader Frankie Burns found a wallet loaded with nearly $2,000 cash in the Bronx over the weekend. But he never once thought of keeping it for himself.
Maybe we can all learn something from Frankie.
“Do the right thing!” he said.
On Saturday, the soccer and Gaelic football player from Washingtonville did just that. He was headed with his team from St. Brendan’s in Orange County to a playoff game at Paddy’s Field in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx.
They were unloading their gear in front of a house on Van Cortlandt Park East when Frankie made a surprise discovery.
“I see a wallet and I gave it to my dad, and he opened it to see like whose it was, and he just sees like a lot of hundred-dollar bills,” Frankie said.
There were 17 $100 bills, to be exact. And Frankie said there was never a thought in his mind that he might keep it.
“I didn’t earn the money,” he said. “The other guy did from working.”
Frankie and his friends were sitting on a stone wall putting on their cleats when he saw the wallet sitting in the grass. But what he didn’t know at the time was that the owner of that wallet was the victim of a violent crime.
“He said that he just got out of the hospital – he was in there for four or five days – that he was mugged the previous Saturday because he got hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat, so he had stitches from the back of his neck to the top of his head,” said Frankie’s father, Frank Burns.
Frankie’s dad said the mugging victim was going to pay his rent with cash and managed to keep it from the attackers. But the victim apparently dropped it after being injured.
The elder Burns and his wife are proud of the boy who only had one thought about what to do with all the money.
“Give it back to the owner,” Frankie said.
After using a dental ID card they found in the wallet, they tracked the man down and met face-to-face.
When asked how happy the man was to see the money, Frankie said, “Really happy, because his brother and his friend had to pay for his rent while he was in the hospital.”
And Frankie got an unexpected reward for his good deed.
“We just started talking and then out of nowhere, he went to you to give you something and he just pulled out $100,” he said.
Frankie said the money will help him buy a new pair of soccer cleats. Meanwhile, his team won the Gaelic football playoff game that day, and they are in the championship game this weekend.