MESQUITE, Texas — Video of a uniformed Texas officer engaging in a friendly boxing match with a teenager has gone viral.
Mesquite Officer Winston Bowen initially responded to a call about a noise complaint at an apartment complex, reported CBS DFW. According to Bowen, there was a crowd holding a barbecue and playing music.
“They were having a little barbecue, they were playing some music and there were some kids out there with some gloves,” Bowen said.
The crowd complied with the officer’s request and turned down the music. But then something quite different occurred. The officer was challenged to a boxing match. Bowen has been boxing since he was 13; he accepted the invitation to spar with a teen.
“There’s this perception that police officers have guns, we have a badge, but we can’t fight,” Bowen said.
The crowd howled in approval when the officer displayed his boxing skills. When Bowen’s radio was knocked loose, some members of the crowd stepped in to stop the fight and showed their admiration for the officer.
“Years ago I made that decision, I’ve got to step in there and I’ve got to make a difference,” he said.
Bowen, who has been with the Mesquite Police Department for 14 years, is a familiar face in the neighborhood. He’s known to members of the neighborhood as “Blade” due to his resemblance of the superhero played by Wesley Snipes.
“Everybody loves him. They like him. When he pulls up, they’re like, ‘Aw, there’s Officer Blade,’” De’Ovion Tutt said.
Bowen said the boxing match is an example that helps break down the barriers between police and the minority community they serve, which is a goal he said he’s dedicated his life to.
“We hugged, I mean, physically hugged,” he said of his opponent once their mini-match concluded.