Sheriff’s transit officers and fare inspectors
normally police Metro trains and buses in search of troublemakers or people who
don’t pay their fares, but today they handed out toys to children who are
spending Christmas in a Los Angeles hospital.
With 6 foot 7 inch fare inspector Jerry Rocha as Santa, dozens of
deputies, security officers and fare inspectors acted like elves visiting the
pediatric wards at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center, said transit
policing spokesman Ramon Montenegro.
“Medical center staff and transit sheriff’s personnel alike were
visibly moved by the reactions of the children,” Montenegro said. “Some who
had not had a reason to smile in a long time did so when they got their gifts
from Santa and his elves.”
Sheriff’s personnel had collected so many gifts there were enough left
over to donate to several other hospitals and rescue missions, Montenegro said.