WALTHAM (CBS) — They met by chance when a police officer responded to a robbery call. Perhaps, in part, because of the victim’s age, the officer made it his mission to do right by the elderly gentleman. And, it turned into a friendship for the ages.
“What the heck is going on,” said Larry Steinfeld as he entered the restaurant Saturday.
At 100-years young, Larry Steinfeld thought he had seen it all.
“This is the biggest surprise of my life,” said Steinfeld, describing the dinner held in his honor at Flank.
The pair’s story started in February. When someone had stolen Steinfeld’s scratch ticket worth $100, Waltham Police Officer Tom Bryant took a special interest in the case and worked to find the culprit. When he discovered Larry’s winnings were already gone, Bryant started a collection at the Police Department.
“He is great. There isn’t a thing he hasn’t done. He even handed me 100 dollars,” said Steinfeld.
Over the past several months, Officer Bryant became a constant in Larry’s home.
“He comes up and spends time with me. His wife is like, ‘Who is this Larry?” said Steinfeld.
“The stories that he has, I can sit and talk with him for a long time,” said Officer Tom Bryant, Waltham police.
Saturday’s surprise steak dinner was originally delayed until he was healthy enough.
“I also eat tenderloin and ribs,” said Steinfeld.
His nearby relatives and strangers who wanted to honor the WWII veteran joined the dinner.
When asked how he would describe the day Steinfeld said, “Amazing. There’s a word kids use now, awesome. Am I right?”
They brought him scratch tickets that Steinfeld is so fond of, but he had said in already won the lottery in a different way.
“It’s so easy to say best friend, your best friend, but it’s true,” said Steinfeld of Bryant.
“In this case, the best thing to come of this was that I have a new friend,” added Bryant.
With the money the police department raised for Larry, he gave some of it to another resident who was also robbed. He then bought Saturday’s coffee and donuts for the whole building.