Community gathers to support Modesto officer injured in the line of duty

Local News

MODESTO, Calif. (KTXL) — It has been a little over six weeks since a Modesto police officer was shot while serving a search warrant.

Officer Michael Rokaitis had to have one of his legs amputated due to the wounds. On Thursday, the community came out to help his healing and with his family’s future costs.

“Tonight we are hosting a basketball game between members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and staff from Waterford High School, and tonight‘s game will benefit Modesto police officer Michael Rokaitis,” Waterford Police Services Chief Mike Parker said.

The stands at Waterford High’s basketball gym were packed Thursday as the school’s staff played the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s truly amazing that people we don’t even know are standing behind him and supporting him and supporting us as well. Through this whole thing, we have felt totally lifted up and supported,” said Officer Michael Rokaitis’ mother, Beth Rokaitis.

Among those taking in the gesture were the officer’s parents, Beth and Jim Rokaitis — his father a former officer.

“(Rokaitis and his wife) really wish they could have been here. He’s probably several weeks away from really getting that independence,” Jim Rokaitis said.

On the court, the mood was light and fun. Beth and Jim Rokaitis said their son has kept a great attitude through his tough times. On Thursday, the community made sure he keeps his head up.

“Through this whole thing, he says he felt he wasn’t deserving and we keep reiterating you are deserving of this. People want to help you, so accept it and move on. And he’s just been truly overwhelmed by the support,” Beth Rokaitis said.

Jim Rokaitis told FOX40 that one thing his son said was that you can’t have a tragedy stay a tragedy, and tonight was anything but.

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