For the next three Thursdays, a popular pizza restaurant in Walnut Creek is raising money for the family of slain CHP Officer Kenyon Youngstrom.
For lunch or dinner customers who mention the Youngstrom Fund, Rocco's Ristorante & Pizzeria will set aside 25 percent of the bill for the fund. The customer needs to tell the server (or the takeout person at the cash register) to qualify for the contribution at the restaurant in the Encina Grande Plaza on Ygnacio Valley Road.
The first Thursday brought a heavy crowd with plenty of support from law enforcement "comrades in arms," said Rocco Biale, owner of the pizzeria.
"My first reaction was how tragic the shooting was and then he was on life support, while the family gathered," said Biale. "Later to find out just how senseless the whole incident was with regard to pulling over to move deer and then the whole sad chain of events, only later to find out he left a young family ... a real tragedy."
Officer Youngstrom, 37, died Sept. 5 on Interstate 680 in Alamo. He left behind a widow and four children in Cordelia, Solano County.
The fund-raiser was organized by the Contra Costa County Peace Officers Alliance.
Rocco Biale was recently profiled in the Contra Costa Times. His grandfather Giovanni left Genoa and eventually opened Biale's Meat Market in San Francisco. His dad Mario and Uncle Rudy opened bars and restaurants in San Francisco and Phoenix. Rocco's Ristorante & Pizzeria opened in Encina Grande in 1999.