From December 24, 2015 Riverside Ca. During a ceremony honoring fallen Riverside, Ca. Police Officer Ryan Patrick Bonaminio who was murdered on November 7, 2010 a homeless man named Stephen McQueen was greeted by Sgt. Debbie Foy in the Church Parking lot where the murder had taken place. It was McQueen who’s testimony helped convict Bonaminio’s murderer.
Foy learned that McQueen had fallen on hard times. He had been a caretaker but had lost his job when his employer had passed away. His girlfriend had also passed away in September. Since that time McQueen had been living out of his car.
McQueen wasn’t complaining about his circumstances he told ABC7 “It’s not too bad, but it could be much better – you know, stretching out and what not,” But Sgt. Foy wanted to repay the kindness and help that he gave when he came forward for Officer Bonaminio.
Sgt. Foy decided that she would do something to help McQueen and his situation for the holiday to get him into more suitable living accommodations even if it was just temporary. It was a very unexpected but welcome surprise to McQueen.
Foy told other members of the Riverside Police Department what she had in mind and officers began chipping in. They collected enough money to get McQueen a room at a local Comfort Inn. “All the officers I contacted and I said this is what I’m doing and they all donated money,” she said.
The Riverside Police Officers Association also donated money toward gift cards and a room. The Comfort Inn comped the two-night stay after hearing McQueen’s story.
“The things that he’s done for us. You can’t repay that…” Foy said.
After the story aired on ABC7, generous viewers began calling the Comfort Inn to pay for extra nights. Shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve, viewers paid for 27 nights for McQueen.
As for McQueen he was ecstatic at having a room where he could sleep, stretch out and a place where he could take a bath. Hopefully Mr. McQueen will have a change in fortune now that his story has gotten some attention.