ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — An Anaheim police officer is being praised for going beyond the call of duty for helping an Oregon family on vacation at Disneyland.
Dan Singer, his wife, their three children and his mother were vacationing at the theme park resort on Thanksgiving week. On Thanksgiving day as the Singers were getting ready to drive north to Torrance to visit relatives, they came to find that their SUV was burglarized.
The black Chevy Suburban was parked in the lot of Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel, where the thief or thieves had broken through the back window and stolen third-row seats.
“We actually paid quite a bit of money from the hotel to park there,” said Deborah Singer. “We felt very stranded. We felt very helpless.”
Without the back seats, Dan Singer could not legally and safely drive his family to Torrance or back home to Oregon.
After calling Anaheim police, Officer David Garcia responded to the burglary and realized that replacing the back seats would have been impossible because businesses were closed on Thanksgiving.
“I got a family of my own. I can only imagine the effort that’s put into a big trip like this,” Garcia said. The 38-year-old officer is a father of two boys ages 12 and 4.
Having sympathy for the family, Garcia let the Singers borrow one of the seats from his own Chevy Tahoe. With it, the Singers were then able to safely drive to Torrance in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
“I certainly didn’t want them to miss Thanksgiving dinner with their family,” Garcia said he made it his personal mission to help after learning that Dan was a military veteran who battles post-traumatic stress disorder. He does not handle stress well. “I just have the utmost respect for veterans,” the officer said.
The Singers eventually drove back home to Eugene, Ore., with the borrowed seat. After getting home, they shipped the seat back to the officer.
Garcia never told anyone what he did. The media only learned about his story after the Singers wrote a letter to his police chief.
The Singers said police officers have been getting a bad reputation because of the recent news headlines. They wanted to share something good an officer did.