Deputies from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in South Florida did a good deed for a boy whose bike was stolen and who was still mourning the loss of his father: On August 12, two deputies showed up at 13-year-old Ernesto’s home to present him with a new bike.
Deputies Jose Claudio and James Murphy initially responded to the home on August 2 to investigate the theft. After hearing that Ernesto was also grieving the loss of his father, who died in 2020, the deputies decided to show him that they cared and pitched in their own funds to buy him a brand-new bike.
“He was very depressed over the loss of his father and his stolen bike,” deputies said on social media.
They decided to give Ernesto the ultimate bicycle — a wide-tire Monster Ripper, which retails at around $1,100 — as a present.
“His face … priceless,” the deputies wrote on Facebook, with a video of the moment Ernesto received the bike. With a look of amazement, he shook the deputies’ hands and thanked them.
“We wanted Ernesto to know that he is not alone,” deputies said in the caption to the video.
“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 replied to the post.
Ernesto’s mother, Niuri Perez, expressed her gratitude to the officers. Perez is a single mother working several jobs and taking care of two older children and four grandchildren ages 1 to 9.
“After [the] loss of my husband life changed for us. Painful. And yet we don’t [give] up,” Perez wrote.
Perez told the Miami Herald that her son became depressed after his father, Leonel, died, and she hopes this good deed will help cheer him up.
“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 added.
In a Twitter thread, one commenter wrote: “Now that is community policing.”