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Shippensburg football player makes incredible drive off the field

A student's kindness has a Mechanicsburg family calling him a hero after he drove to return a wallet he found on campus in Shippensburg.

YORK, Pa. — A Shippensburg football player is being recognized for a drive he made off the field. 

Brando Aristy found a wallet outside his apartment complex and what he did to return it is scoring him major points with the owner's family.

For as long as Aristy has played football, he's been in the security business.  

"He's one of those guys that brings the hard hat and lunch pale and just goes to work and does the best he can do," said Shippensburg Head Football Coach Mark Maciejewski. 

The offensive lineman helped lead Mechanicsburg High School to many successful drives on the grid iron, but perhaps his most meaningful happened off the field.   

Now a Shippensburg student athlete, Aristy came upon a different kind of fumble while on campus. It wasn't a football he recovered, but a wallet belonging to Todd & Stacey Witalec's daughter. 

"I was actually walking my dogs at my apartment complex and once I looked to the side, I saw a wallet.  I opened the wallet just to see who it was and it said she lived in Mechanicsburg," Aristy said.   

Despite it being the offseason, Aristy was ready for another clutch drive. This one was a bit longer, from Shippensburg to Mechanicsburg.

"We got a notification from our ring doorbell. So I click on the ring and I see this unknown man standing at my front door on a cold night," said Stacey Witalec.

"The mom was actually pretty in shock! She's like, 'Oh my God, that's my daughter's wallet!'" said Aristy.  

"We were absolutely floored. I was able to ask him for his Venmo so I could send him something to thank him for this unbelievable act of kindness, but he wouldn't give it to me. All he wanted was to make sure our daughter got her wallet back," said Stacey Witalec.   

"I know I personally would prefer my wallet back," Aristy told FOX43.

Still wanting to thank him, Todd turned to the internet. A quick google search of his name led them to Aristy's football coach at Shippensburg.

"This young lady's father called me on a Sunday night," said Coach Maciejewski. 

Todd Witalec is a Pennsylvania State Trooper.  

He knew how a sudden phone call from a law enforcement officer could be perceived, but decided to make the call.  

"We were discussing with him being a coach and me being a trooper, I never get positive calls at work, that's why I wanted to call because I want you to know you have a phenomenal young man on your team and we can't thank him enough," Todd Witalec said. 

Aside from the somewhat jarring call, Coach Mac really didn't seem surprised.

"Aristy is a positive influence on our football family and you know work ethic and discipline are everything, and you know, this man has it. I'm so proud of Brando for what he did," said the coach.

The Witalec's feel the same.  

"To have someone to take the time to care about our daughter as much as we do, it's one of those moments where you want to thank his parents for raising such a good young man, but you also want to say thank you to him, to make sure he understands the enormity of what he did," said Stacey Witalec.  

They're hoping to use this as a lesson for their own kids about always being a team player.  

"We sometimes see the tragedy that life can bring or the worst in people and this was an opportunity for us to see the best," she said.

Download the FOX43 app here.

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