Reporting Andrea Menniti
MODESTO (CBS13) – For single dad Mark Spivey and his son Dave, slain Deputy Robert Paris was every ounce a hero.
“It’s almost like an angel on your shoulder, you know? I’ll be thankful forever for what he did for us,” said Spivey.
The duo met Paris under grave circumstances. While camping back in 2001, Spivey’s son witnessed the worst of crimes.
“The kid had just witnessed a murder,” said Spivey.
After spending time with the pair, Deputy Paris learned they weren’t camping for fun. A bitter divorce left the retired military man and his son homeless.
“When Bob heard that, and knew I had a son, he just stopped dead in his tracks,” said Spivey.
Paris made it his personal mission to help Mark get back on his feet.
“He was always upbeat, always has ideas. Here try this, tried this. He even referred me to his bank, the rest is history,” said Spivey.
Spivey and Paris kept in touch.
The veteran law enforcement officer elated when Mark’s son won awards for overcoming hardships and graduating high school while homeless.
“I said, you know, I can’t thank you enough but Mr. Modesty, he said ‘I didn’t do anything, all I did was shine a light on a path in the dark and you took it from there.’ He said ‘you don’t have to thank me for anything,” said Spivey.
The Spiveys were in complete disbelief when they heard the man who changed their lives had his life taken away.
“He kept me from cracking, kept me in once piece, kept me upbeat, that I really needed, he restored by faith in people,” said Spivey.