McFarland Residents Shocked by Arrest of Bakersfield Cop Portrayed in Film

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The charges against Damacio Diaz have people in his hometown in disbelief.

The story of McFarland started with a cross-country in the '80s. Disney turned it into a movie, decades later and it took a dark for Damacio Diaz after the credits rolled.

Mayor Manuel Cantu said, "from the bottom of our hearts, we hope this is something we can overcome."

Diaz's name was glorified in the movie. He grew up to become a detective in Bakersfield. Now, he's facing charges and is accused of dishonoring the badge.

"I don't wanna believe that he would have made a mistake," Mayor Cantu said,"that's something that we don't want to ever believe, especially of our officers."

The kids in town can't believe it either. Juan Carlos Rico says he was following in Diaz's footsteps and he runs for the same high school. After hearing the news, he says he was disappointed.

"It really didn't affect me, what he did, it really affects him and what he did, is gonna give him consequences," Rico added.

The movie also put the small town on the map. Dolores Giorgi stopped to see it for herself on her way home to Sacramento. She says her daughter is a runner who was inspired by Diaz.

"It's sad that someone who had such great inspiration to everybody that saw the movie and knew what he went through as a young person and then has fallen from that," Goirgi said.

In this dark chapter of Diaz's real-life story, Mayor Cantu is hoping for the best, "I believe, through the storm there will be a better day for him," Mayor Cantu said.
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