North Port officers celebrate birthday of boy with autism after no one responds to invites

Photo via North Port Police Department

NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) — When no one RSVP’d to a little boy’s birthday party, North Port police Officers saved the day.

“We could all use a happy story right about now. Got this nice photo and note today. Glad we could assist,” the department posted on Facebook.

It’s a beautiful story. The boy, Daniel Nicastro, recently turned 8 years old. Daniel is autistic.

Daniel is just like any little boy. He wants to have fun and make friends. But sadly, because of his autism, making friends is difficult, Daniel’s parents said.

“In my opinion it kinda puts a tag on kids, and it’s not fair,” Daniel’s father, Daniel Nicastro, said.

“No one called to say they were coming to his birthday party. Both myself and his father were heartbroken,” Carolyn Nicastro said, “It’s hard when no one shows up.”

It’s not the first time other children have failed to celebrate the boy’s birthday.

“His father (Dan) and I remembered the past two years of no one showing up for his birthday parties, he would spend the day crying that he had no friends. We could not let that happen again.”

So the parents had an idea. Daniel sees police officers as superheroes.

Mom and dad invited the North Port Police Department officers to the party. They weren’t sure what to expect, and didn’t say anything to Daniel.

The officers went above and beyond.

“The police is my favorite characters … They save people from getting damaged or like stopping robbers robbing a bank,” 8-year-old Daniel said.

Daniel’s parents were hoping a few officers would show up. Instead, an assembly of heroes arrived.

“I was actually like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?’” the little boy’s dad remembered.

The officers came to the rescue, even bringing gifts with them.

“(We wanted) to make that boy’s day, spread good cheer; let him know that he is appreciated, that we did want to attend,” North Port Police Sgt. Paul Neugebauer said. “Children with challenges and such don’t need to feel left out more than they already are. So if he views us as superheroes, the least thing we can do is show up at his party and make his day.”

The department shared a photo of Daniel with the officers, and it’s drawn attention from around the world. Daniel has received birthday wishes from as far away as Hawaii.

Local parents have reached out, asking for play dates so Daniel can make new friends.

“I can’t thank (the police) enough. I never will be able to, and he’ll never forget this birthday because of it I’m sure,” dad, Daniel Nicastro, said.

North Port will hold a big birthday bash on July 3rd at Dallas White Park for Daniel and other kids throughout the region who have had people not show up for their parties. There will be bounce houses and food. The party will be from 10am to 1pm.

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