“118, Tell my family I love them.”
The final words of Officer Anthony Dia swept the nation on July 4, 2020. The 26-year-old husband and father of two was shot and killed while responding to a report of an intoxicated man causing a disturbance in the Home Depot parking lot. That night, Anthony became the 31st Toledo Police Officer to die in the line of duty.
“I’m not surprised we were the last thing on his mind,” shares Anthony’s wife, Jayme. “It’s the second part of the radio transmission…you can hear that he’s fading. It’s so incredible and precious for us to have. It hurts to hear it.”
Jayme describes Anthony, also known as Tony, as “the sweetest person I have ever met in my entire life.”
Their life together was one filled with love, laughter, and plenty of pranks. “I know it’s silly,” says Jayme, “but we’d play pranks on our dogs. And then our kids. But Anthony couldn’t do it without laughing. So he never got too far, but he tried.”
Anthony was passionate about rescuing pitbulls, and shared a deep understanding with them. “As a Muslim,” explains Jayme, “we tend to be misunderstood because of 9/11. Anthony said he felt like, of all the dog breeds, pitbulls are the most misunderstood.”
The family currently has two pitbulls: Lucy and Draco. Anthony’s pitbull, Cassius, passed shortly after Anthony. He’d had him since he was just sixteen years old.
The Dia house was a gathering place for good times, from playing video games to family movie nights, and having friends over for football Sundays.
“We were best friends,” Jayme shares about her relationship with Anthony. “His mom would always say we’re kids raising kids. Here we got our kids on our laps sliding mattresses down the stairs. Our house was so fun and lively.”
Over the past several months, Jayme has been in contact with Band of Blue about planning an unforgettable experience for her sons, Younes (10) and Maytham (8). She is excited to take them on a Disney Cruise and is hopeful that they will reconnect with Anthony’s fun-loving spirit and continue moving forward as a family.
Band of Blue traveled to Toledo, Ohio on December 10, 2022 to unveil the surprise. Continue following us for highlights of the Dia family’s Disney excursion.
Officer Dia: Thank you for your service.
When you donate to Band of Blue, you’re helping families like the Maddox Family move forward after a devastating loss. We thank you for your support.