May 3, 2021

Gilbert community raises money for injured officer

‘He’s definitely on the road to recovery’: Gilbert community raises money for injured officer Gilbert…

The Gilbert community is coming together for an officer who was severely injured after a violent pursuit that spanned Eloy to Chandler before ending at a local car dealership.

Officer Rico Aranda sustained a serious head injury after a man stole a car from a dealership, crashed it through the door and targeted the officers trying to flee.

Chandler officer Christopher Farrar died from his wounds, and Aranda is still at the hospital.

“He’s definitely on the road to recovery — how long that will be, no telling,” said Steve Gilbert with the Gilbert Police Leadership Association.

Gilbert says Aranda has a wife and two kids who have been at his side.

“Really motivated guy, super hard worker,” said Gilbert. “Just one of those guys if you hear his name, you associate it with someone that works hard, is always there, has everyone’s back, and you can always trust him to do the right thing to be there when you need him.”

On May 2, Sweetz Cold Brew Coffee said proceeds from their pop up event would go towards Aranda’s recovery.

“My husband’s [a firefighter]. My dad’s a vet. My son-in-law’s a cop,” said Emily Barton, owner of Sweetz Cold Brew Coffee. “So all of these – if they need support, they can always reach out.”

Gilbert said the community’s fundraising work has surpassed expectations.

“It’s always amazing when something happens within the community, the outpouring of support we get to witness,” Gilbert said. “This so far has blown away any expectations we had for fundraising efforts.”

The money raised will also go to another Gilbert officer, Kevin Francoeur. The husband and father of two was diagnosed with leukemia last month.

“We have two officers that are definitely both fighting for their lives, but in totally different situations,” Gilbert said.

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