Greenwood police chief honored for returning stolen go-kart to 5-year-old with cancer

GREENWOOD, La. (KSLA) – Greenwood Police Chief Shayne Gibson will travel to Baton Rouge on Tuesday, March 8 to be honored for an extraordinary act of kindness.

Gibson is one of 15 law enforcement personnel to receive Heart of Law Enforcement recognition. The honor is bestowed annually by Beyond the Badge, a nonprofit organization that strives to honor first responders who go above and beyond the call of duty.

Chief Shayne Gibson received Heart of Law Enforcement recognition.(KSLA)

“Sometimes those moments come at the right time and help us stay in law enforcement,” Gibson explained.

That moment for Gibson came unexpectedly in Greenwood last fall, when his department discovered a stolen red go-cart inside the bed of a 1960s Chevrolet truck, which was also stolen. Gibson learned the kart was taken in Tool, Texas, just under two and a half hours from Greenwood.

This is where Gibson’s story takes an emotional turn: this stolen go-cart belonged to the family of a little girl in the fight of her life.

“We have learned that the family is undergoing cancer treatment and will likely have to sell or give up the ATV [go-cart] because it was in the tow yard and they couldn’t afford to pick it up,” Gibson said.

Shortly before the kart was stolen, JoJo Scrivner, who was 4 years old at the time, was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma. Her parents, Quintin and Courtnee, told KSLA News 12 that JoJo loves this kart.

Greenwood police officials say the red go-kart and orange 1960s Chevrolet truck were reported...
Greenwood Police officials said the red go-kart and orange 1960s Chevrolet truck were stolen in Tool, Texas.(Shayne Gibson)

“JoJo loved driving her, but she also loved trying to drive,” Quintin said. “You go 90 or nothing, which is basically JoJo’s lifestyle; so it suited him perfectly.

Courtnee describes her daughter as passionately creative and endlessly sassy.

“I think you think you’re tough – everyone thinks they’re strong,” Courtnee explained. “I hope I can be half as strong and fearless as this girl.”

So when the Scrivners’ go-kart was stolen, as JoJo began her courageous battle against an illness no one should have to face, her parents were understandably frustrated.

“You stole this kid and now there’s going to be hell to pay,” Quintin said. “When we got the call it was stolen, it definitely added insult to injury.”

Of course, when Chief Gibson learned of JoJo’s story, his department coordinated with the community to fix the go-kart. According to the chief, Nowhere Kustoms and Services performed the free repairs, Rainey Asset Management provided a trailer, and Rials Towing waived storage and towing charges after it was picked up from Greenwood.

Working with retired Shreveport police officer Tom Brown, Gibson towed the go-kart to Tool and the Scrivner family.

At the same time, the Scrivners knew the kart had been recovered but had no idea what would happen next.

“We got out and you started hearing the sirens,” Courtnee said. “It’s getting louder and louder and really louder.”

A parade of first responders from the Tool Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Seven Points Fire Department, escorted the stolen kart to JoJo and her family, showcasing the best in humanity.

JoJo and her mother, Courtnee, walk alongside a parade of first responders, who gave their...
JoJo and her mother, Courtnee, walk alongside a parade of first responders, who have returned their stolen go-carts.(Courtnee Scrivner)

“She felt like a superhero, she felt like a character on a show,” Quintin said. “Everyone was there for JoJo.”

Courtnee, who was understandably overwhelmed with emotion at the sincerity of the gesture, said it was a surreal moment.

“They wanted to make sure she felt so special and they didn’t have to. It was compassion and love.

JoJo sits on her mother's lap after the Scrivner family kart returns.
JoJo sits on her mother’s lap after the Scrivner family kart returns.(Courtnee Scrivner)

Gibson never expected to be recognized for an act of kindness he would repeat in the blink of an eye. JoJo’s answer was more than enough.

“Seeing this little girl’s eyes light up as the police cars and fire engines arrive…it was worth the little effort we put in.”

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