CALL: Monica Villa comforts her companion, John Verrocchi,
aka "Pirate," as he recovers from serious head trauma
he sustained in an apparent hit-and-run accident near the Bear Creek
encampment in late July. Pirate only remembers riding his bike home.
He was found after an anonymous call to police, and then airlifted
from Merced to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto. The next morning,
he was totally surprised to see Villa with her family at his bedside.
He had been worried about how he was going to contact her. She brought
him his Bible that features a leather cover with the words from
Matthew 7:7 — 'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you
will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.' This year,
eight pedestrians have been killed after being hit by cars in Merced
County, and 13 have been injured. (TIMES PHOTO BY JONATHAN WHITAKER)
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