SARASOTA, FL (WFLA) – A touching story out of North Port is getting attention around the globe.
Eight-year-old Daniel Nicastro is just like any other boy. But sadly because of his autism, his parents say he doesn’t fit in. Last week he had a birthday party, and no one RSVP’d. But Daniel’s parents had an idea. The boy sees police officers as super-heroes. So Daniel’s mother gave an invitation to the North Port Police Department expecting a couple of officers could drop by. Instead, a large group of officers arrived in a parade of squad cars! And they brought gifts with them too!
Word quickly spread across the country and around the world. And the 911 call center was soon inundated. One caller said, “Excuse me, I’m real choked up. One of my best friends has an autistic son and I heard what y’all done for that boy. And I just wanted to say thank you and kudos.”
Another said, “We are in tears. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for what you did for that little boy.”
One man said, “You guys are exactly the kind of Americans that we need and we just wanted to let you guys know we’re proud of you. And that wasn’t just a small gesture in you guys’ community, but it definitely has resonated through the country.”
The police department did not expect this kind of reaction. Police spokesman Josh Taylor said, “Certainly at a time where our country is going through such tragedy, it just touched a nerve.”
Members of the North Port community are not staying on the sidelines. Local party rental company ‘Do The Happy Bounce’ stepped up and provided Daniel with a bounce house over the weekend. Just about anyone could resonate with this story.
‘Do The Happy Bounce’ owner Jana Thompson said, “It breaks my heart. Nobody wants to be rejected and I can’t imagine, you know at 8 years old, he knows. He has to have some kind of idea of why there was nobody else there.”
These officers were just doing their job, but for many this gesture meant so much more. Taylor said, “I think people want that, they want to see the good that’s out there in the world.”
‘Do The Happy Bounce’ is joining forces with other local businesses to throw a huge birthday bash for Daniel and other children who’ve had people skip out on their birthdays.
It will be held Sunday July 3 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dallas White Park. There will be food, a DJ, and lots of fun for all.
For more information, contact the North Port Police Department.