Four-year-old Justin Carlson wanted a hero to come to his birthday party.
While other children his age might request that Spider Man swing by or Superman fly in with a birthday greeting, Justin had a very specific type of hero he wished for — a police officer.
The 4-year-old was surprised on Saturday when Cypress Police Officer Thuan Tran stopped by to wish him happy birthday.
Justin, dressed in his police uniform costume, was given some stickers and a tour of Tran’s patrol car.
“We are all truly grateful for the kindness of Officer Tran,” said Barbara Carlson-Castro, Justin’s aunt. “His birthday was complete and no gift did he receive was better than the visit by Officer Tran.”
Justin’s aunt said the visit was even more meaningful for the family because the night before the party, the Carlsons were involved in a traffic collision and the person who struck their car fled the scene.
“The boys were pretty (shaken) up and scared,” she said. “The only good thing that made their night was (an) awesome Buena Park officer.”
Buena Park Officer George Gentner responded to the scene and let Justin and his 8-year-old brother, Gary, turn on the lights in the patrol car and talk to dispatch.
“We want to thank this officer as well and give him the recognition he deserves for going above and beyond,” Carlson-Castro said. “After they left the scene, Justin was heartbroken that his parents didn’t invite the wonderful officer to his birthday party.”
Cypress Chaplain Fr. Patrick Moses helped arrange the meeting with Tran to give the young boy a memorable celebration.
“Officers do not often get the praise they deserve and we are truly thankful for both these wonderful officers,” Carlson-Castro said.
Cypress Mayor Rob Johnson said he appreciated the family reaching out to thank the department and wished Justin a belated happy birthday.
“Our officers are doing wonderful things every day that go unnoticed and we are grateful the family took the time to write in and recognize the fine work of Officer Tran and Fr. Moses,” Johnson said.