Chance encounter with police officer helps young boy heal

Young Isaiah Pena dreams of being on a SWAT team one day
Young Isaiah Pena dreams of being on a SWAT team one day(WBAY)
Published: May. 28, 2021 at 3:10 PM CDT|Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 4:24 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - A chance encounter matches an 8-year-old Green Bay boy with his newfound hero.

As an early birthday present, Isaiah Pena asked his grandmother to bring him to the Green Bay Police station Friday so he could say thank you to Officer Matthew Dunn.

It’s been a tough year for Isaiah, who lost his great-grandmother to COVID-19 and his been in counseling since.

Two weeks ago, after one of his sessions, Isaiah connected with Officer Dunn.

“Just finishing up at a dive training and we had a car roll by kind of slow and I saw him looking out of the window, and they drove away. I didn’t think anything of it until they circled back through the parking lot and they stopped and he was looking, and then Isaiah actually got out of the car and wanted to see the truck,” says Officer Dunn.

Isaiah’s grandmother, Betty Jane Cantu, captured what happened next, including Isaiah getting to try on Officer Dunn’s SWAT team gear.

From that moment, she says Isaiah has been a different boy and now dreams of being on a SWAT team some day.

“I go, ‘That would be nice, Isaiah, then one day when you grow up and you see all this in the news, you’re going to look back, Isaiah, and you’ll probably be one of them and you’ll probably be showing that to a little boy,’” says Cantu.

Isaiah’s desire to say thank you turned into another surprise for him Friday: a personal tour of the police department’s SWAT Bearcat with Officer Dunn.

“Want to jump in it? Jump on in,” Dunn says to Isaiah.

It’s a magical moment for a young boy and an absolute pleasure for Officer Dunn.

“As police officers, we go to crisis scenes after crisis scenes over and over throughout the day, and to be able to have a good interaction with just a kid that just thinks everything is amazing, it just makes the entire thing worth it,” says Officer Dunn.

A grateful grandmother is there to witness it all.

“You made my grandson’s day. I mean, forever he’ll always have that memory,” says Cantu with a smile.

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