Gulfport Officer Plays Santa Claus to Beaten Teen


 Earlier this month, a Lealman middle school student who lives in Gulfport reported three fellow students for attempting to sell him marijuana; as a result, those students beat him on the bus ride home.

 A Gulfport police officer familiar with the family visited them to “thank him for trying to do the right thing,” according to the officer (who asked that we not publish his name). He brought the family breakfast and, over breakfast he learned that the student needed clothes.

 According to Lieutenant Mary Farrand, the Gulfport officer used his own money and, while off-duty, purchased clothes and brought them to the family.

 “They were grateful, and I thanked [the student] for doing the right thing,” the officer said.

 Tuesday morning, Shirley DiBucci, who works for the Gulfport Police and with the Sons of the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary Andy Anderson Post 125 also delivered clothes to the teenage boy.

 “We’re there to help people,” Ms. DiBucci said Tuesday morning. “If that’s all he needs, we can step up.”

 The officer stressed that the Legion helped of its own accord and not at his urging.

 Gulfport Police Lieutenant Mary Farrand praised the officer.

 “[The officer] did this because he cares about the community and the folks who live here,” Lieutenant Farrand said.

 The boy lives with extended family in Ward Four.

Read more from: Gulfport News