Two deputies with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office wanted to show a 13-year-old that he was not alone and that someone cared.
On Friday, the department posted video of deputies Jose Claudio and James Murphy delivering a bicycle to a boy named Ernesto earlier this month.
On Aug. 2, Palm Beach deputies had visited Ernesto‘s home after his previous bike was stolen. Ernesto was also still grieving the loss of his father who died in June 2020.
“He was very depressed over the loss of his father and his stolen bike,” deputies noted in their Facebook and Twitter posts.
So the deputies dipped into their own pockets and bought Ernesto “the bicycles of all bicycle,” they said: a wide tire Monster Ripper.
“His face…priceless,” they said.
“He is a friend of my son’s. I’m glad you guys are showing these kids that there is still kindness in this world,” Crystal Smith McIntosh wrote on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook post.
The boy’s mother, Niuri Perez, also expressed gratitude, noting as a single mom with two other children, ages 30 and 25, along with four grandchildren ages 9 to 1, and several jobs, life isn’t easy.
“After [the] loss of my husband life changed for us. Painful. And yet we don’t [give] up,” Perez wrote on Facebook.
Perez told the Miami Herald after Ernesto’s father Leonel died, her happy son grew sad and lost much motivation.
“I’m thankful of how the police saw and felt there is a big heart broken inside of a boy, 13 years old. This was a beautiful action from the police we can never forget,” Perez said.
Monster Ripper bikes aren’t cheap, either. They retail for nearly $1,100.
“Now that is community policing,” someone posted on the Twitter thread.
The same day Palm Beach deputies gifted Ernesto with the bike, Perez’s colleague at Nova Southeastern University had noticed she was sad and gave her a flower at work and words of encouragement, Perez said. The gesture, by Millicent Kelly, a director at Nova, also touched Perez.
“Our home is empty after my husband [left,]” Perez said. Kelly’s gesture, “made me smile.”
On August 2nd, we responded to Ernesto‘s home because he was depressed over the loss of his father and his stolen bike. So Deputy Claudio and Deputy Murphy pitched in from their own funds to buy Ernesto the bicycles of all bicycle, a wide tire Monster Ripper! His face…priceless. pic.twitter.com/V4fxHnMDiq
— PBSO (@PBCountySheriff) August 12, 2022