Tania Avila, center, poses with police officers whom she worked with to reunite a lost toddler with his family. (Courtesy photo)

Renton teen helps RPD reunite lost toddler to family

Tania Avila, sophomore at Renton High School, received a letter of appreciation from Renton Police Department.

Tania Avila was home after school, cleaning her room, when she heard a knock at the door.

She was surprised to find officers from the Renton Police Department with a 3-year-old boy by their side.

The Renton High School sophomore described the boy as “oblivious” and said he didn’t have any shoes on.

The officers asked her if the boy lived there, and Avila said no. They explained to her the boy was lost and only spoke Spanish, and they were having difficulty helping him find his home. Since Avila is bilingual, she decided to help.

“I tried talking to him in Spanish. I only figured out that his mom was at work and he didn’t know where his sister was. He didn’t really mention his dad,” she said.

She noticed the boy seemed intimidated around the officers.

“They were big two guys in black uniforms. I tried to relate with him and I offered to do so. I felt really bad for the child,” she said.

The officers and Avila decided to walk around the neighborhood and see if the boy could identify his house.

“I was busy in the middle of something, so when they asked I was a little hesitant, but I did it anyway. He was a baby,” she said.

After walking around the neighborhood, the boy finally pointed to an apartment complex. His dad was outside the complex, looking for him.

Last Saturday, three weeks after the incident, Avila was awoken by another knock at her door. She was surprised to find police officers at her door, once again.

“They came to my house super early so I was asleep,” she said. “It was the weekend, and I wanted to sleep in. They (came in) and they were all serious. My family was really mad at me at first. As I walked to the door, I was wondering, ‘Gosh, what did I do?’ I was super confused.”

Officers had returned to her house to present her with a letter of appreciation. Her family was very excited, especially her grandmother who insisted on taking a photo.

Avila admitted she wasn’t in the mood to receive the letter at first.

“In the photo, I looked super ugly; I was in my pajamas and I was not in the mood. I was like, ‘We couldn’t do this around noon? When I’m actually up?’” she said.

The incident wasn’t one she felt she had to brag about to her friends. However, when Renton School District posted about her Good Samaritan deed on their Facebook page on Monday, she became the talk of the school.

“It wasn’t a big deal to me. Today (Monday), it has become a big deal and everyone has been coming up to me. People keep saying, ‘You didn’t tell me about it.’ But I was like, ‘I wasn’t really thinking about you guys.’”

Avila said she was happy to receive so many compliments.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                Boon Boona Coffee in downtown Renton is well-known for its large cafe space, but owner Efrem Fesaha has found a creative way to keep people to to-go orders only, putting a table right at the door. The order from the Governor hasn’t been easy for small businesses in Renton, and many are just taking it day to day and hoping for financial relief from local and regional leaders.
Renton communities reach out during shut-in

Local organizations, volunteers and businesses try to make the best of quarantine

Renton and AARP team up for seniors

New fitness park to funded and will open late in the summer

Schindler’s legacy bounces along at Baden

CEO of Baden Sports died unexpectedly in February

Renton March 2020 Youth of the Month
March Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Courtesy of HLN. A screenshot from a preview of an episode of a new true crime show that highlights the Ingrid Lyne case, where a Renton mother was murdered.
Infamous Renton crime to make TV debut

It’s been over two years since a man was found guilty for… Continue reading

Photos courtesy of Linda Smith
Celebrating Black Excellence

Local organization honors Black History Month

Alyx Chamberlain, Jennifer Keil and Mario Pilapil, courtesy of Rotary Club of Renton.
Teachers of the Month for February

As part of their commitment to education, and to celebrate teachers in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                During halftime, athletes and coaches have individual meetings, while parents watch a video prepared by Highlands Community Church for whatever biblical principle teams are learning about that week at the Upward sports league.
Sports that help kids grow

Local church league gives to neighborhood

Local scouts greet attendants at the Renton First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Patrick Montemerlo.
Local scouts celebrate big milestones

Scouts in Boy Scouts of America celebrated Scout Sunday, a national opportunity… Continue reading

Luis Hernandez. Courtesy of Renton Schools
He didn’t care much for class until his teacher encouraged his photography

Local Renton student’s photographs featured in exhibit in Spain

February’s Rotary Youth of the Month

Rotary members recognize three Renton School District high school students each month… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed off their culture, heritage and interests through the 2020 Renton Multicultural Show, Feb. 7 and Feb. 8 at the IKEA Performing Arts Center. The student hosts of the event opened up by saying that Renton High School holds the event each year as a chance to get their one big family into the room together in “reunion.” Performances included the Multicultural Fashion Show, Black Student Union, Latinx Student Union, K-pop and J-pop performances, Filipino Club and many more.
Renton High shows off its culture

Photos by Haley Ausbun. An annual event, Renton High School students showed… Continue reading