The death of a 12-year-old Fresno boy has touched the hearts of staff at the Clovis Police Department.
Adrian Antunez Perez died of electrocution after getting stuck against a chain link fence that had been accidentally electrified due to contact with faulty wiring.
Police called it a tragic accident. Fresno attorney Tony Capozzi said he’s representing the family in a potential civil suit.
“He was a good boy,” said Vice Principal Summer Gaston-Gehris at Scandinavian Middle School, where Adrian was a seventh grader. “He was a jokester. He was active. He liked to pay soccer. He had a lot of charisma, a lot of personality.”
The day he died, she went to Community Regional Medical Center to see his mother, Victoria Antunez.
“She said through tears, ‘I don’t have anything for him to wear’” to be buried in, Gaston-Gerhis said. “No mom should ever have to think about that.”
The Clovis Police Department family responded. I was overwhelmed with the generosity.
Cpl. Rich Ashcraft
Gaston-Gerhis decided to take action. The next day, using donations from school staff and her own money, she drove to Kohl’s in Clovis to buy a gift card for Adrian’s mother.
But on the way she got pulled over by a Clovis police officer for not coming to a complete stop at a red light while turning right.
Cpl. Rich Ashcraft, a 20-year veteran of the department, asked her why she didn’t stop. She apologized and said she did not realize that had happened. She said was on her way to Kohl’s because a student had died tragically and she was getting a gift card for his mother. She told him the story of how he died.
“She broke down,” said Ashcraft, a 20-year veteran at the department. “I’ve seen hundreds of people who break down in front of me. I could see the sincerity.”
She also showed him pictures of Adrian.
“I reached into my pocket for my wallet and I made a donation,” he said.
It didn’t end there.
“When I went back to the police department, I immediately put out an email to my co-workers,” he said.
The next day, the officer went to Scandinavian and presented the vice principal a large manila envelope containing $300.
“The Clovis Police Department family responded,” Ashcraft said. “I was overwhelmed with the generosity.”
“He went above and beyond,” Gaston-Gehris said.
The Fresno Unified middle school police officers also raised money for a gift card from Vallarta Supermarkets, and Lifetouch photography created a package of his fall photos.
Gaston-Gerhis said she plans to visit Adrian’s mother Monday to give her the gifts.