In a letter posted on the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office Facebook page and picked up by The Daily News, Terance Lunogren writes that he was down on his luck and living on the streets with his dog when Deputy Alex Alfonso approached him and helped get his life on track.
"I was homeless and unemployed for a long period," the letter reads. "I am the guy with the little white dog. We were at large because we lost our our room and job the same day. I had to save to get a new place to stay to keep my dog of 13 + years "
"Officer Alphonso [sic] approached me and knew I was not a trouble maker. Just a guy down on his luck. He and I talked and I eventually got a place, home for my dog (my best friend) and I was then able to pursue work," it continues. "I landed a job at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond on Glades with his endorsement. I have been there 4 months now."
"He helped me change my life for the better to the tenth degree."
Lunogren now finds himself surrounded and supported by "mature, responsible, and professional people" as a result of Deputy Alfonso's intervention.
Lunogren references a "rough stretch" for Deputy Alfonso in the letter.The deputy was involved in an altercation with another man, Anthony Ribeiro, that ended with Alfonso shooting Ribeiro twice in the chest. Ribeiro and a woman were engaged in a sex act at a community pool when Alfonso saw them and asked them to leave. The couple did, but returned later and approached Alfonso. According to the PBSO, Ribeiro took a wine bottle and “raised it up and attempted to strike the off-duty deputy", and in response Alfonso fired.
"I know he had a rough stretch! But I also know District 7 is no picnic. He is patient, cordial and professional...PBSO should be proud to have him!" Lunogren wrote.