By Lt. Jose Benavides, AA/PIO
Pleasant Valley State Prison
The young boy walking to school in freezing winter weather without a jacket or sweater caught the attention of Moises Lomeli, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) K-9 Officer earlier this year.
Lomeli was waiting to start a day-long search of the Central Valley Modified Community Correctional Facility (MCCF) in McFarland, but he couldn’t help being drawn to the boy.
He saw the boy again the next day as he waited with K-9 units parked near the MCCF. The boy again was headed to school without a sweater or jacket to protect against the cold winter morning.
Retrieving a hood sweater from the trunk of his K-9 vehicle, Lomeli offered it to the boy, who happily accepted. Lomeli held the boy’s backpack as the boy donned the garment.
The boy said he didn’t own a jacket or sweater. The boy was too shy to give his name. The pair shook hands and the boy went on his way to school.
Lomeli told the other K-9 officers and his wife about the boy.
His wife and he decided to give the boy one of their children’s sweaters. The other K-9 officers donated money to give to the boy’s mother.
Veronica Mata, the McFarland Unified School District Family Advocate-Child Welfare and Attendance representative, helped identify the boy and his mother, and thanked the officers for their generosity.
Since then, the K-9 team and Wardens Scott Fraunheim of PVSP and Josie Gastelo of California Men’s Colony contributed money and five refurbished bicycles – one for each of the children in the boy’s family.