HYATTSVILLE, Md. - A Prince George's County police officer's random act of kindness was caught on camera and has now gone viral.
Last Wednesday, a mother with her 1-year-old daughter showed up in the lobby of the Hyattsville police station where Corporal Che' Atkinson works. He says she told him she was a domestic violence victim and had no place to go.
After making calls to social services and other places, Atkinson thought they would be taken care of, but the two were still at the District I station the next day.
"Thursday morning, I come in for work and I look out there in the lobby and I see her with her baby asleep out there in our lobby," said Atkinson.
Atkinson called a hotel and booked a room for the mother and daughter. He paid for it with his own money.
"I could tell that they'd been out on the street," said Atkinson. "You could tell that the baby probably hadn't eaten and maybe needed a bath."
Atkinson found a child car seat and loaded the mother, her child and their belongings into his police cruiser. He also bought them food and drinks. It was much-needed help until a family member could pick them up.
The officer's immediate supervisor secretly snapped pictures of Atkinson's good deed because he didn't want to embarrass the woman or embarrass his officer. As for the corporal, he's living up to his humble reputation.
"I thought I was doing my job," Atkinson said. "I mean, if I had the extra funds, I want to help somebody, set them up for the night just to make sure they're safe."
He added, "We were taught to protect and serve, and service can range from a variety of things."
As for the woman he helped, Atkinson told us, "I do hope that everything works out and that she ends up on her feet with her child."