This Easter is really special for a 12-year-old New Jersey kid who just recently moved to Lenoir County.
Sunday Anthony Nocito received a gift he's wanted for years.
Officer Adam Erskine of the Atlantic County, New Jersey Sheriff's Office, drove to Grifton to surprise Nocito in person with signed memorabilia from legendary former skateboarder, Tony Hawk.
Nocito has Asperger's Syndrome. He moved in October to live with his aunt in Grifton because his grandmother in New Jersey could no longer care for him. The transition wasn't the easiest, but Nocito's aunt says he is doing much better now.
Officer Erskine says he taught Nocito in the D.A.R.E. Program and developed a close relationship with him.
"He's infectious. He's got a personality about him. There's something there. He's had a tough life and he still maintains such a positive, loving attitude about everything, about life," Erskine said.
Every day for two years Nocito would ask Erskine if he could get him an autograph from Tony Hawk.
With a little help, Erskine was able to get Nocito two Tony Hawk autographs, including a signed baseball cap. The 12-year-old's former classmates also pitched in and designed miniature skateboards that are now in a framed case along with the hat.
"Especially to my friends at my school I want to thank them for making the skate boards and stuff and for making this possible," Nocito said.
The jovial reunion between Erskine and Nocito was also helped by the Pitt County Sheriff's Office. They were able to connect the two and provided Erskine an escort to Nocito's home when he arrived. Nocito, who did not know this was happening, was pleasantly surprised.
"I really couldn't do that stuff that he could do, you know," Nocito said of Tony Hawk. "He inspires me to never give up."