Family devastated by tornado receives birthday surprise from New Castle County police

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Monday, October 12, 2020
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Family devastated by tornado receives birthday surprise from police

HOCKESSIN, Delaware (WPVI) -- It's been a whirlwind year for the Hicks family. First a pandemic, then a tornado ripped off half of their home back in August after tropical storm Isaias.

"After the storm, the kids were definitely traumatized," explained homeowner Joseph Hicks. "After we had a couple storms we were just sitting on the couch, and he said, 'Daddy I think the wall is going to fall on us.'"

Action News spoke with Hicks after his home was destroyed by the storm.

His interview went viral across the country. Now two months later, his son, Amyas, was set to turn 7 years old.

"Two weeks prior to his birthday, I said, 'Hey bud, what kind of birthday party do you want?' and he says 'I want a police officer birthday,'" said mother Larisha Hicks. "So I said 'cool,' so my husband has been keeping in touch with one of the first responders, Sergeant Cumberbatch."

Hicks says Sergeant Cumberbatch from The New Castle County Police Department was one of the first responders on the scene after the tornado hit.

Last Friday, Larisha and Joseph say they were only expecting one or two police officers to show up. Instead, Amyas received a happy birthday parade with several police cars.

"Like he's very shy, so throughout the entire event, he was a little taken back by it," said Larisha Hicks. "But during the evening he was like, 'mommy they came for me?' And I said, 'yes baby, they all came for you.'"

Hicks says her son explained he wanted to become a police officer.

Hicks adds their house has to be rebuilt and won't be finished until August 2021 at the earliest.