Seventh grader Joaquin Espericueta was devastated after his father, a Mission, Texas police officer, was killed in the line of duty in June. Cpl. Jose "Speedy" Espericueta would be greatly missed in his son's life — especially at his football games, a sport they both loved.
So, Espericueta's colleagues at the Mission Police Department made a vow to take care of his family, and showed up for his son's first game.
On Saturday, not only did officers from Mission attend the younger Espericueta's first game, officers from several law enforcement agencies showed up. They watched the middle schooler take the field for the first time — something that would've made his late dad proud.
"We made a promise to the family – we were always going to be there for special events and today this is his first football game," Mission PD Officer Javier Lara told KGBT-TV. "He's in heaven, watching from heaven today."
"This would have been Speedy's place, to be here with his son," Mission Police Chief Robert Dominguez said. "It's an important day for him, his mom and his sister, and it's an important day for us as part of his extended family."
WQAD-TV reported Joaquin and several officers met at midfield before the game, and a police helicopter flew overhead to honor his father.
"He was really excited. He was real thankful about us being here for him," Lara said. "He has a huge heart. He's going to be a good young man."