SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — A Sacramento County sheriff's deputy took in a young teen with no one to care for him after his grandmother died and has helped the young man like he was one of his own kids.
Keith Ball is a school resource officer at Pleasant Grove High in Elk Grove. He first met 17-year-old Thomas Wyman in January, and since then, he's kept an eye out for him. He even put in a good word to help him get a job.
Wyman tells CBS13 if the deputy hadn't stepped in, he'd be homeless.
He's a Sacramento County street cop, turned mentor. When Wyman's grandma died in August, Ball stepped in when nobody else stepped up.
"That man has stuck with me and been by my side in ways I could not imagine," Wyman said.
Wyman met deputy ball in January, at his high school in Elk Grove. Ball had recently become a school resource officer, after spending almost two decades on patrol.
"It's amazing the things he has done for me, he's taken me places, given me money, he supported me financially and emotionally," Wyman added.
Ball even helped Wyman get out of some legal trouble. Wyman's unpaid parking ticket turned into a $1,200 fine after his grandma passed away. The deputy went to court to advocate on Wyman's behalf.
"I asked for leniency, they gave him a certain amount of hours for community service," Ball said.
And with the help of Pleasant Grove High School officials, Wyman was able to do his community service at school.
"I would make mistakes from time to time and there were people there to pick me up when I fell," Ball said. "He doesn't have that."
A hardened street cop with a soft spot for helping the disadvantaged, his actions Wyman will never forget.
"I've never been able to say that about any other man, he's like a father to me," Wyman said emotionally.
Deputy Ball responded, saying "to hear something like that solidifies everything I've done as a cop. If that is the only thing I ever accomplish it's worth it."
Wyman just graduated from Pleasant Grove High and is now attending Cosumnes River College to study criminal justice. He currently lives with his girlfriend's family and works at the Bubbles Car Wash in Elk Grove.
If you'd like to help, please contact the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department community relations department at (916) 874-7774.
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