Darian Chapa Day proclaimed

Little Darian Chapa, 5-year-old twin son of Vanessa Lopez and Hilario Chapa, is no stranger to the folks around this community.

Last December, local police officers, city employees and firefighters gathered at his home to make it festive for the Christmas holidays. He also was honored at the Missions baseball game this past May by throwing the first pitch. The youngster has been battling a rare lung cancer – bronchioveolar carcinoma – and is limited on what he can do.

At the Pleasanton City Council meeting held on Thursday, July 21, he was honored again by having a day proclaimed in his honor for Friday, July 22. After hearing the proclamation read by Mayor Clinton Powell, Darian was sworn in as a Pleasanton Police Officer by Pleasanton Municipal Judge Elsie Guerra. He and his brother Jayden were then given official police shirts and badges, pinned on by their mom. The proclamation encouraged “members of the community to support Darian in his battle with his illness and demonstrate that same resilience, courage, positivity and trustworthiness as he has demonstrated.”

After the ceremony, Chief Ronald Sanchez asked the youngsters to join the police department to look for a dastardly criminal “Notso Pleasant” the next day at the River Park.

Catching the Criminal

On Friday, July 22, at 10:30 a.m. the Chapa brothers reported for their first day on the job as honorary Pleasanton Police Officers. The pair donned their official police caps and t-shirts and upon walking in, they were greeted by Chief Ronald Sanchez, police dispatchers,  and their partner for the day, Officer Kai Viesca.

“This is Notso Pleasant. Did you get a good look at him?” said Chief Sanchez, as he handed them the wanted poster with Notso Pleasant’s photo. “You’re going to go see if you can apprehend him along with your brother Jayden and your partner Officer Viesca. This is a dangerous assignment. Are you willing to do it?”

Darian and Jayden shyly shook their heads and said they were ready to get to work. Officer Viesca helped them into the police SUV and showed them how to sign-on the radio, turn on the lights and sound the sirens. Then, the boys’ partner drove them to the Pleasanton River Park after a tip was received ‘Notso Pleasant’ could be found there.

When the boys and their partner arrived, Notso Pleasant was seen running away from other police officers. The boys got out of the police SUV and ran toward Notso Pleasant who got on his knees and put his hands up. With the assistance of their partner, Officer Viesca, they handcuffed Notso Pleasant and Darian read him his rights. Officers Chapa and Viesca apprehended the criminal and headed to the Pleasanton Municipal Judge Elsie Guerra’s office.

“Good job, guys! Y’all made your first arrest! I’m so proud of you,” said Officer Viesca. 

The day was definitely memorable and one the Chapa brothers will appreciate and enjoy recalling.

“Everything was planned so well and they did great. He’s [Darian] always so down because of the pain he’s always in. Some days are worse than others, so having a good day like to look back on to talk about on a bad day will make him feel a lot better,” said Vanessa Lopez.

Lopez said Darian made attempts to get into character the day before as he tried to arrest his sister.

“I just want to thank everybody, the police department and the community for making Darian feel more than just another kid in the town. He’s amazing and has become everyone’s little hero. I just want to thank everyone for their support,” said Lopez.

At the end of their time being police officers, the Pleasanton Police Department presented Darian with a framed certificate and thanked both he and Jayden for their service that day.

“As a nation we’re heartbroken because of recent events that have happened with law enforcement. I think this is a part of the healing process. Darian’s helping us more than he realizes. We respect and understand him during this difficult time. We stand by him and we know our community stands by us, too. We’re grateful to our community, as is Darian,” said Chief Sanchez.

Videos of the Chapa brothers’ time as honorary police officers went viral on Friday. They were recorded live on the Pleasanton Express Facebook page and have garnered over 20 thousand views and hundreds of shares and likes. 

Today, we released a video of a special moment between Officer Viesca and the Chapa brothers. This video hasn’t been seen anywhere else and was a moment no other cameras caught. Visit our website www.pleasantonexpress.com to view this video exclusive.

You may E-mail Sue Brown at sbrown@pleasantonexpress.com.

You may E-mail Erika Vela at evela@pleasantonexpress.com.

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