Police officer buys domestic violence victim hotel room, food

WASHINGTON — He saw a woman in need of help and offered his own resources to assist her.

Now, Prince George’s County Police Cpl. Che’ Atkinson is being hailed as a hero.

Prince George’s County Police said Atkinson noticed a woman sitting in the lobby of the District I station in Hyattsville with her young daughter and several bags Wednesday morning.

The woman told Atkinson that she was doing okay, but police said something still bothered the officer.

As he continued to talk with the woman, he learned that she was the victim of domestic violence and had recently become homeless.  She went to the police station because she had nowhere else to go.

Atkinson then offered to help her.  He began contacting county agencies to help get the woman and her daughter the assistance they needed.

He was then able to make contact with a distant relative of hers who offered to pick her and her daughter up.  The officer then went on with his regular day of business, according to a post on the police department’s Facebook page.

Atkinson returned to the lobby the next morning, surprised to see the woman still there.  According to county police, the family members actually weren’t able to pick her up until Friday.

After also learning that the two had not eaten in days, he used his own money to buy them a hotel room, some food, drinks and other necessities.

His sergeant caught the officer in action, subtly snapping photos of Atkinson loading up his cruiser with the woman’s belongings, according to WUSA.  He also found a child car seat the daughter could use for the ride to the hotel.

The mother and daughter are doing well and are with family members.

Atkinson told WUSA he’s a bit overwhelmed with the reaction his assistance has gotten, “It’s our duty to help those in need.”

WTOP’s Dennis Foley contributed to this report

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