GREENBELT, Md. - Maryland-National Capital Park Police along with Santa provided a special surprise for local family that has had a difficult year after suffering a heartbreaking loss.
Emanuel Planta's wife passed away unexpectedly in January after a battle with breast cancer. She left behind a 14-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 7 and 9.
Police say the Planta family has been struggling both emotionally and financially after her untimely death. But in an annual holiday tradition, Maryland-National Capital Park Police decided to play Secret Santa for this family and gave them gifts that included season passes to Six Flags America, movie tickets, Washington Capitals tickets, three tablets, free tutoring for all three of the three children at their school and lots of other presents.
The gifts were paid for after money was raised from donations by the entire police force.
Police surprised the family in festive fashion as a motorcade with 15 police motorcycles, ten police cars, and two fire trucks - with Santa in tow - stopped by a restaurant in Greenbelt where the family was being treated to dinner.