A hungry, homeless mother, who said she was a victim of domestic violence, took her one-year-old daughter to the lobby of a Maryland police department last week because she had nowhere else to go.
Cpl. Che’ Atkinson changed that.
Atkinson rented the woman and her child a hotel room and brought them food and drinks, an act of kindness that was covertly documented by one of Atkinson's superiors and shared by thousands on Facebook. As of Monday afternoon, the Prince George's County Police Department's post had garnered more than 14,000 likes and nearly 3,500 shares since it was written on Aug. 28.
Atkinson first saw the homeless woman, who was not identified, on Wednesday morning, sitting in the lobby of the District I station in Hyattsville. She had been staying at a homeless shelter, but had to leave for an unidentified reason, according to WUSA9. Atkinson tried getting a distant relative to pick the pair up and take them in. The relative initially agreed but, on Thursday morning, Atkinson found the mother and daughter still stuck in the lobby. The relative wouldn’t be able to come for at least another day – and it had already been two days since the woman and her daughter had eaten.
“I had the extra money. What would it hurt just to put them up for a night to make sure they're safe?”
- Corporal Che’ Atkinson
“With his own money, Corporal Atkinson rented the woman and her child a hotel room,” the Facebook post said. “He found a child car seat and put it in his cruiser in order to safely transport the little girl to the hotel. He also bought them food and drinks.”
Atkinson said he didn’t think his involvement was “a big deal.”
“I had the extra money," Atkinson told WUSA9. "What would it hurt just to put them up for a night to make sure they're safe?”
While Atkinson got the pair to a hotel, his sergeant slyly took photos to document the generous gesture. After a night at the hotel, the mother and daughter were able to finally meet up with relatives.
Said Atkinson: “This is a helpless child so it's our duty to help and that child was definitely in need.”