Following his battle with a rare form of cancer, Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody tweeted Wednesday that 18-year-old Clayton Dalton of Round Rock has died at the age of 18.
An honorary WilCo Sheriff's Office deputy himself, Dalton had a close relationship with the sheriff's office, as well as Sheriff Chody.
In the tweet announcing Dalton's death Wednesday, Sheriff Chody said he was part of the WilCo Sheriff's Office family, which, if you've been following Dalton's story, is easily believable.
This morning @ 230a Honoree WilCo Deputy Clayton Dalton passed away from his battle w/ cancer. He was 18 yrs old & was a part of r family❤️ pic.twitter.com/h4CQp4gF08— Sheriff Robert Chody (@SheriffChody) October 4, 2017
Sheriff Chody met the teen during his campaign for office in early 2017. The duo met each other on Twitter when Dalton, who had dreams of becoming a law enforcement officer, asked the sheriff for some uniform patches. The sheriff soon learned about the boy's condition.
Not only did Sheriff Chody deliver those patches, he arranged for two SWAT team members to rappel down the side of Dell Children's hospital where he was being treated. Additionally, 14 members of the team also presented him with a signed helmet, along with several patches to match his new deputy uniform shirt.
Despite his difficult battle with stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare disease that affected his soft tissues, Dalton didn't lose his sense of humor. In April, he recruited his friend Sheriff Chody and the rest of the department to help prank his girlfriend, Veronica, for his prom proposal.
They arranged for her to be pulled over by Williamson County patrol. In a video posted on Sheriff Chody's Twitter account, she can be seen being questioned by a deputy about a recent speeding ticket as Dalton teases her. Eventually, the deputy pulls out another piece of paper -- Dalton's prom proposal. She said yes.
Today Wilco Patrol assisted in helping Clayton ask his girlfriend to prom while being pulled over. She said yes 2 prom pic.twitter.com/wikKjlRFB3— Sheriff Robert Chody (@SheriffChody) April 25, 2017
Sheriff Chody didn't stop there. In August, he presented Dalton with a special gift: an honorary Williamson County Sheriff's Office deputy badge. That same night, he also got a surprise from one of his favorite music stars. Texas country music legend Kevin Fowler presented Dalton with a signed guitar.
Dalton and Sheriff Chody became close friends.
"It blossomed not just with me, but with my office, Central Texas law enforcement, law enforcement around the world," Sheriff Chody said.
"You don't expect an 18-year-old stranger from nine months ago to have an impact on you like this -- your family, your children," Sheriff Chody said through tears.
"He certainly had a positive attitude all the way to the end and I was grateful for that, I was inspired by that."
A memorial for Dalton will be held in the coming days.