Stockton softball complex named for Misty Holt-Singh
STOCKTON — For Paul Singh, Saturday morning was one more opportunity to move forward five years after a day that shattered his family and shook the city.
The ceremony had just ended, the “Misty HoltSingh Memorial Softball Complex” sign had been unveiled by her children and Paul Singh now had a moment to think about all that has happened since the infamous Bank of the West robbery took place July 16, 2014.
“For me, every day there’s a little more closure,” Singh said.
“There will never be complete closure. But every day gets a little closer.”
On the day that changed everything, Holt-Singh, a 41-year-old mother of two, was about to leave a Bank of the West branch in north Stockton when armed robbers arrived and forced her back inside.
The men, after getting money, took HoltSingh and two bank employees as hostages, forcing them into a getaway vehicle. An hourlong pursuit ensued. At its end, Holt-Singh and two of the robbers were killed when police officers opened fire on the getaway vehicle.
Misty Holt-Singh was a softball player and a softball mom, so dedicating the cityowned complex at McNair High School in her memory was a logical honor.
Paul and Misty’s children, Paul Jr. and Mia, were among the speakers at Saturday’s event, which was attended by local elected officials and Police Chief Eric Jones. Also watching the ceremony were girls on the other side of the backstop preparing for games later in the morning.
“Standing here, I know that she is right beside me,” Mia, now 17, said of her late mother. “There will always be a part of her watching over this complex and watching over me.” Paul Jr., 24, also spoke.
“As we move forward and leave this sign here and go on,” he said, “remember that we as a community were able to come together.”
Greg Bentley, the attorney who represented the family following the tragedy, served as the master of ceremonies at Saturday’s event.
The Singh family accepted a $5.75 million settlement from the city one year ago, and a condition of the agreement was that a street or park be named after Holt-Singh.
The softball complex is not the only public commemoration of her.
The Misty Holt-Singh Memorial Scoreboard was dedicated at the Northern Little League facility in 2015, and a memorial golf tournament also is named in her memory.
In 2015, Misty’s 44-year-old sister, Dawn Holt, raised funds to place a memorial bench at Thornton Road and Otto Drive, the scene of the Bank of the West shootout.
Dawn Holt, dying of cancer, was too ill to attend the dedication of the bench, which took place on the one-year anniversary of her sister’s death. Dawn died 12 days later.
On Saturday, Paul Singh was the last to address the audience. Turning to face the softball field, he thanked the community.
“You guys,” he said, “have gone through this journey with me and my family.”