A 6-year-old Kingwood boy whose viral pictures warmed the hearts of thousands during Hurricane Harvey received a special invitation Thursday.
Giovanni Brito-Salcido, whose mother calls him Gio, met with Houston Chief of Police Art Acevedo at HPD headquarters after a viral photo of the 6-year-old with two police officers caught the attention of the Houston Police Department.
Each day during Hurricane Harvey, Gio and his mother walked to the edge of their neighborhood to see how high the water from the San Jacinto River had risen. One morning, Gio noticed two tired Houston police officers patrolling the area.
Dressed as a firefighter, Gio and his mom walked home and returned with breakfast tacos for the officers. His mom, Clarice Brito-Salcido, who’s a teacher at Atascocita High School and owns CiCi Loo Photography, captured the photo.
Earlier, Clarice took another viral photo of Gio carrying an American flag while running through the rain during Hurricane Harvey.
With the storm sitting over Southeast Texas and flooding the Greater Houston area, both photos served as a sign of happiness when times were seemingly at their worst.
During his visit, Acevedo gave Gio some soft ribbing about that fireman outfit.
“Policemen are cooler than firemen, don’t you think?” Acevedo asked Gio.
“I think they’re both,” Gio said, this time dressed as a police officer.
“Good answer,” Acevedo said. “Very good answer.”
Gio gave the chief a piece of artwork of the American flag with that viral photo of Gio and friends playing in the rain. He then gave one of the officers he delivered breakfast to a photo that captured the moment.
Acevedo gave Gio a HPD backpack filled with a police hat, notebook and other essentials to be a policeman.
Clarice said she never imagined the photos would capture so much attention. But she’s happy they have, and she’s grateful her son got to meet the chief and the men and women in blue.
“We teach him every day to respect police officers and if he ever needs it, to reach out to them,” Clarice said. “I’m very thankful he got to experience that and meet the men in uniform.”
Before he left his meet-and-greet with Acevedo to tour the HPD Museum, Acevedo shook Gio’s hand and had a final idea.
“Let’s take a picture of you in the police chief’s desk so everyone knows the future police chief,” Acevedo said.
© 2017 KHOU-TV