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El Paso student returns EPPD officer's lost wallet

This is a story about building character, knowing right from wrong, and being kind to complete strangers.

CBS4’s Tomas Hoppough met a second grade girl at Purple Heart Elementary who is a prime example of all those characteristics.

School is a place where minds are shaped, and Purple Heart Elementary is a place where character is built.

“Our chant every morning is, ‘Heroes, what do you have?’ and they say, ‘We have heart, we’re safe honest kind and smart,’” said Jennifer Parker, the principal at Purple Heart Elementary.

Hoppough heard from Parker about the noble act that 7-year-old Ariel Espinoza did on Wednesday. When he got to the school, Ariel wanted to show Hoppough the school’s Kindness Tree that had multiple student’s names on it.

“Every act of kindness is put up here on the kindness tree,” Ariel said.

Ariel’s act of kindness all started when she found a wallet.

“I found a wallet on the floor outside the police station,” Ariel said.

Ariel’s mother Christy Espinoza said Ariel immediately spotted it.

“She ran and picked it up. and she looked at it and was like. ‘Mom, I found a wallet,’” Espinoza said.

Ariel then returned it to the Eastside Regional Command Center.

Hoppough asked Ariel if she ever wanted to take the wallet for herself, and she responded no.

When Hoppough asked why, Ariel stopped and looked down.

“Because I didn’t want to be the bad guy,” Ariel responded.

Ariel’s act of kindness ended up getting that wallet to its rightful owner – an El Paso police officer.

The officer then visited Ariel at her school on Thursday, and brought little gifts as a token of appreciation.

Ariel’s mother is proud.

“She’s the best child you can ask for, pretty much,” Espinoza said.

Ariel’s school is proud.

“She’s represents a lot of our kids at Purple Heart,” Parker said.

But as for Ariel, what she’s most proud of is having her name on a special spot on that kindness tree.

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