YAKIMA, Wash. – The season of giving became personal for Andrew Rosas when he left his overnight shift at Shari’s Restaurant early this morning.
Rosas was working his normal 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift when three Yakima Sheriff’s Office deputies sat down in his section. He had never seen the officers before and treated them like he would treat any other customer, Rosas said.
“They just looked exhausted and I was talking to them and I said, ‘Hey, I know how you feel – I have two jobs and I’m a single dad,’ ” he said.
Shortly after, Rosas’ boss let him go home early to celebrate Christmas with his 10-year-old daughter.
While he was putting on his coat to leave, one of the officers, Deputy Derrick Perez, stopped him with two Christmas presents – a Play-Doh set and a My Little Pony toy – for his daughter, Rosas said.
“She got so happy when I told her it was from the police, and we consider them our three wise men that brought gifts. It really touched her because they are supposed to protect us, but now we know they actually care too,” he said while trying to hold back tears.
Perez couldn’t immediately be reached for comment, but Rosas wanted to express appreciation for his thoughtful gesture.
In a time when tension between the community and police can be high, Rosas said the kindness he was shown by the officers demonstrates that not everything he sees on the news is reflective of all police officers.
“He was an armed officer and he gave me a hug without being afraid or cautious, and that really shows the love and compassion of Christmas. He really touched our family,” Rosas said.
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