Manila Bulletin

Boy gets birth­day sur­prise at evac­u­a­tion shel­ter


LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) – The 3-yearold birth­day boy was in his pa­ja­mas, about to go to sleep on a cot in­side a shel­ter packed with hun­dreds of evac­uees af­fected by a dam­aged Cal­i­for­nia dam.

With just three hours left on his big day, a group of Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol of­fi­cers showed up at the Chico shel­ter with a makeshift cel­e­bra­tion: an ice cream cake, a bal­loon, a Cap­tain Amer­ica fig­urine, and of course, a song.

"We de­cided you needed a cake on your birth­day. Happy birth­day!'' Of­fi­cer Lo­gan Cal­la­han tells the boy as he places a card­board crown on his head, ac­cord­ing to a Face­book Live video that's got­ten more than 61,000 views and 1,100 shares since it was posted Mon­day night.

The video wasn't part of the plan, said Cal­la­han, a pub­lic in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer in CHP's Chico of­fice. It was taken by a com­mu­nity mem­ber who hap­pened upon the scene and started shoot­ing.

Cal­la­han re­al­ized it was the boy's birth­day ear­lier in the day Mon­day when he was walk­ing around hand­ing out stick­ers to chil­dren stay­ing at the shel­ter. The boy's fa­ther men­tioned that he and his wife had planned to make their son a cake.

"I've got a son that's 2-and-a-half, and this young man is turn­ing 3,'' Cal­la­han said. "I fig­ured, 'What would I want for my kid if he were in that sit­u­a­tion?' ''

Mike Wro­bel, who took the video, said other evac­uees joined in singing "Happy Birth­day'' and seemed touched by the mo­ment.

"It sure was a bleak set­ting. But I was grin­ning ear to ear, as was ev­ery­one else,'' Wro­bel said. "It was a lit­tle bit of joy in a sit­u­a­tion filled with a lot of sad­ness.''

Nei­ther Wro­bel nor Cal­la­han know much about the boy or his par­ents, just that the boy's name is Ju­nior. Wro­bel was hop­ing to re­con­nect with them Tues­day to show them the video he took and how many peo­ple were en­joy­ing it.

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