Deputy recognized for work off duty as father figure to girl in need
The little girl pictured in the right arm of the man who's holding two kids may be all grown up now, but Mary Hernandez still remembers how he changed her life. Some of her earliest memories of David Delgado are captured on home video. David is a praise and worship leader at his church in San Benito, an Air Force veteran and a deputy for the Cameron County Sheriff's Department over the last 15 years. It's there where David thinks he has a meeting with Sheriff Omar Lucio, his boss. "Oh, wow!" David said as he opened the door to see a room full of familiar faces. "What are you doing here?" In reality, Mary, her mother and David's entire family are in the sheriff TMs office in Olmito to help recognize him on Pay it 4Ward. "I know you don't know what's going on right now, but I actually got a hold of Action 4 News for this," she explained to David after giving him a hug. "You know as a father figure... you know that... I... oh gosh, I'm so sorry," she said while starting to tear up. "My dad has never been there. I'm not perfect. I've made mistakes as you know. But you're the one who taught me how to ride a bike. You're the one that took me fishing. You're the one that brought me and my mom into your family when we had nobody," she said. David listened to Mary with a smile on his face. "I can honestly say that your voice is the one that rang in my head to become a better person and to start over again with my mom and to be closer with Christ," she added. "Your voice is the one that stood out to me. "On behalf of FNB Insurance Agency and Action 4 News, I have $400 for you. I would like to Pay it 4Ward." David gave Mary a hug. "How are you feeling right now knowing you made that kind of impact in her life?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked David. "I was a little surprised," he responded. "I never expected this. Wow! It's pretty cool. I tried to step in as much as I could... as much as I could knowing that I wasn't her father, but I still loved her and cared for her and wanted her to do good in life." David appeared to be stunned. He was overcome with joy. His family shared how David nervously polished his shoes and ironed his work uniform the night before in anticipation of the so-called meeting with the sheriff. "There's no meeting today with the sheriff," Ryan said. "It was a Pay it 4Ward surprise." "Thanks Sheriff," David laughingly said to Omar Lucio who was in the office for the surprise. "David is a great employee and a great example for others," Lucio said. "We're real proud of David." FNB Insurance Agency awarded the $400 in cash for David's kindness as Pay it 4Ward partner with Action 4 News. "It's stories like this that FNB Insurance Agency likes to team up with Action 4 News, Jose Carlos De La Colina, spokesperson said. So you can inspire people to be just like you. A little girl shown love; it's one more way to "Pay it 4Ward."