HPD officer goes above, beyond for wedding party after car break-ins during their rehearsal
HOUSTON – The day before this couple was set to tie the knot, misfortune hit.
The couple and their wedding party's cars got broken into, but one Houston Police Department officer's acts of kindness made all the difference in helping the couple's big weekend feel special.
"He was your next-door neighbor, like, a good Samaritan," said Ana Petrou, a woman who was set to be married on the grounds of Sam Houston Park on Dec. 15.
One officer, though, had a lasting impact at a time this couple would remember forever for many reasons. Ana and James Petrou tied the knot in downtown Houston that day, but not without a major setback. After their rehearsal, the couple and their wedding party eventually walked out to find their cars parked near 1100 Bagby Street broken into.
"Window was broken out, everything (was) taken out," Ana Petrou said.
Purses, wallets and even passports were taken. Her family and wedding party were from out of town. Ana and James Petrou were set to go on their honeymoon in New York the next day right after the wedding.
"I immediately just started crying, because I thought, 'This is my fault! This is my fault!'" Ana Petrou said.
Houston police sent over Officer Steven Olivares, who Ana Petrou said turned the page of her horrible nightmare.
"He arrived at the scene of the crime and immediately, he was warm," Ana Petrou said. "His first instinct was to jump in and make sure everyone was safe and OK and at ease."
Ana Petrou said Olivares also made sure that her two nephews were also at ease.
"He allowed them to go sit in the car, and he turned the lights on and immediately, he had their toys with them in the back seat -- they just thought it was the coolest thing," Ana Petrou said.
Slowly, Olivares made their night better. When the group realized their canceled credit cards made it impossible to get a ride to their rehearsal dinner, the officer stepped in.
"He just said, 'Guys, don't worry, I got this,' and he called an Uber for everybody," Ana Petrou said.
It was an act of goodwill that changed everyone's mood and outlook.
"I was crying. (Initially) everybody was in distress, and then by the end of it, we're laughing, we're taking videos of my nephews in the cop cars," Ana Petrou laughed.
Investigators said they are still investigating the break-ins. Ana Petrou said they were able to file a report for each car and work on getting their proper identification. The couple said their wedding and honeymoon were perfect. However, they still can't stop talking about the man that saved the day.
"I can't say anything but amazing things about Officer Olivares and all the help and the comfort that he brought for us," Ana Petrou said.
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