CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — What could have been a routine traffic stop in Robstown a year ago resulted in an officer's random act of kindness. That act was shared on social media and the pair connected and developed a friendship over the last year.
Officer Michael Tamez had stopped Cynthia Perez on Highway 77 when he found out she was on her way to MD Anderson for treatment. He let her go with a warning, and later mailed her a card and gift cards.
Over the last year the pair kept in touch, and the last two months Perez' health began to decline, Tamez said.
And while she lost her battle with cancer on Wednesday she leaves a legacy that police officers throughout the area will long remember, Tamez said.
"She reminded me of why it's important of everybody that wears this badge to have empathy," said Tamez, the special investigator in charge of the Nueces County District Attorney's Criminal Interdiction Unit. "A lot of times we look at folks and we're so busy dealing with the worst of humanity that we forget to pay attention to the best of humanity. And a lady like that who would do anything for her children, she would do anything for her kids, she was that type of mother, she was well-loved by her family."
Perez leaves behind five children and five grandchildren.
"She's blessed she got to spend Christmas with them, but they're never going to grow old to know her, Tamez said. "They're never going to get to see her as a mother-in-law or as her children grow older. So, we just want to do whatever we can to help."
He has asked members of the law enforcement community, and others who are able, to help the family with funeral expenses.
"It's been a tough year. Let's try to end it on a good note and help out a family that needs help," Tamez said. "Let's come together and do something for a complete stranger like Cynthia."