Online Originals: Onslow County deputy redefines what it means to serve community with visit for 6-year-old’s birthday during Elsa


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – One Onslow County deputy went above and beyond last Thursday for one local military family … even during Tropical Storm Elsa. 

“So, I said ‘Well absolutely I’d do that, but I did remind her that we had a tropical storm coming that day’ and she goes ‘Well, we’ll just see what happens,” said Sgt. James Seifert with the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office. “And I told her ‘well, as long as there’s no other big emergencies in the county, I’m going to be there for your kid’, and I sure showed up.” 

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Vincent D’Alessandro turned 6 last Thursday. His mom reached out to the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office to request a drive up for his birthday. With the weather, they weren’t sure if Seifert would be able to make it. But he did and the sheriff’s office did even more than just drive up. 

“He came in the pouring rain,” said Vincent’s mom, Sara D’Alessandro. “Stood outside, let him go in the car, sang him a happy birthday, he gave him a bag of goodies, he gave him everything you could think of that a little boy who loves cop cars would love and need.” 

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Seifert said it may not have been the best weather conditions, but he knew how important the day was for the six-year-old.

“It was horrible, there were bands of wind and rain coming through. It was raining when I got there, pouring when I left, pouring through the whole thing,” said Seifert. “The goodie bag had a T-shirt, Frisbee, wristbands, and a Junior Deputy badge because I want him to feel like, cause the story I got when I got there was, he likes law enforcement and every time he sees a patrol car, he makes a siren noise.” 

Sara D’Alessandro said this year’s been tough because her husband has been away with the military for longer periods of time than normal. Things like this help brighten their spirits. 

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“So that meant the world to him when daddy couldn’t be there, he was upset,” said D’Alessandro. “And when he showed up, it changed his whole mood. It changed from being a little upset asking for daddy to now going in the house and playing cops and robbers.” 

Seifert said this surprise was worth it because of Vinny’s reaction. 

“When I pulled up in that car and seen him for the first time, his face was priceless,” Seifert said. “He was so surprised and happy. He was in and out of that car. It’s just so great to be part of this community and for people to want us to be part of their family as well.” 

D’Alessandro added that after this kind gesture, her door is always open for law enforcement with whatever they may need. 

“My house is always open,” said D’Alessandro. “You ever need a cup of coffee to decompress after a bad call or you just need a friend at the time, my door is always open.” 

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