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MODESTO, Calif. -- Thursday marked an extremely emotional day in Modesto as a fallen Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy was laid to rest.
Family, friends and law enforcement officials from across the area gathered to celebrate the life of Deputy Tony Hinostroza.
He was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, November 25th as he was on his way to help get a suspected drunk driver off the roads.
"In my eyes, he was one of the great ones," Ladis "Junior" Hernandez, a friend said.
A father, a friend, and a brother in blue.
"Deputy Tony Hinostroza served his country, his community, and the sheriff's office with honor and distinction. Daring to do the hard things, committed to his chosen profession, and willing to go to dark, and desperate places no one else is willing to go," Sheriff Adam Christianson of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office said.
January would have been Tony's 20th anniversary at the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office.
"He knew it, he loved it, he lived it and this was his greatest accomplishment," Carlos Vasquez, Tony's brother said.
His brother says Tony was the kind of guy who loved his job.
"When talking to Tony about work, his face would light up as if it were Christmas, because he knew he had a slew of stories ready to tell you, whether it was a training story with one of his dogs, Max or Ben, or whether it was a call he responded, nothing made that man happier than to talk to you about his work," Vasquez said.
And other deputies remember him for his sense of humor.
"I will miss the fun you always brought no matter where you went, along with all of your woop woops, your pow pows and your yeah yeahs," Sgt. Mario Moreno of the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office said.
"Tony would be cruising, playing the hip hop, yelling out the windows woop woop as we passed people standing in the street corners, gangsters thought we were the coolest cops because we listened to old school and oldies and hip hop," Deputy Joseph Delgado of the Alamada County Sheriff's Office said.
A member of the SWAT team, a K-9 handler and a gang unit detective, with honors.
"The thin blue line is where his heart was, and it's where he'd been standing his entire life," Vasquez said.
As Sheriff Christianson said, he was someone who would run towards danger when others run away.
"They say all dogs go to heaven and Tony is up there running the pack," Delgado said.
"Thank you Tony," Christianson said. "Thank you for making a difference. We know you're safe. We'll never forget you. We'll take it from here."
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office has set up an official memorial fund for Tony's family here.
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