Officer Gaetano Acerra was dispatched to a home after 13-year-old Cameron Simmons placed a distressed call to the Sumter Police Department.
Simmons placed a call after fighting with his mom. He told police he no longer wanted to live there and want to run away from home. When Offiver Acerra first responded, Cameron was at a corner convenience store. The store was across the street from his home and where he placed the call to police.
When Cameron was asked why he wanted to run away, it was because of a fight he had been in with his mother about using his older brother’s gaming system.
Right now, it may seem that the 13-year-old was being a kid, but when Officer Acerra returned with Cameron, he went and saw his room. Officer Acerra would never forget it, “It was four walls, two windows and hardwood floor. It was just empty. He had his clothes on the ground in a black garbage bag. I asked him where he sleeps and he said, ‘Sometime on the couch and sometimes on a blow-up mattress.’”
Cameron, his brother and mother had fallen on hard times. Cameron’s mom had to abruptly move from Texas to South Carolina to help take care of a sick relative.
Officer Acerra left the Simmons residence, but he would back, and they had no idea. Acerra began sharing his story and soon was gathering items for the family. He surprised them all after dropping off a brand new desk, chair, bed, TV, and Wii gaming system for Cameron. In addition, he brought a full bedroom set for Cameron’s older brother, and an air hockey table for the two of them.
The family was extremely grateful and now has a new friend, Officer Acerra says he didn’t do it for recognition, “I didn’t expect this, and I’m not one to gloat or brag or even ask for help, but with all these people standing behind us, we can change a lot of lives,” he said.
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