Officer goes beyond call of duty to help sick girl
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (WHDH) -- A police officer in New Mexico went above and beyond the call of duty when he confronted a pair of panhandlers on the street.
Concerned people noticed a couple had their baby with them when they were begging for money.
So they called the officer for help, not realizing just how much help he would be.
"The caller was concerned that the baby was out in the cold weather,” said Hernandez.
The baby, a 2-year-old girl, was bundled in blankets and looking up at Officer Luis Hernandez with her big blue eyes.
"The first thing I thought when I saw her was from the Simpsons, you know, she looked like a little star all bundled up,” said Hernandez.
But why panhandle in the cold with a young child?
Their story checked out and tugged at the heart strings of Officer Hernandez.
"They were panhandling to get enough money for one of the parents to also follow the rest of the family to the hospital in Denver,” said Hernandez.
Officer Hernandez said the little girl already had heart surgery, and her follow up appointment is in Denver.
The couple has enough money for the girl and the mother to go, but needed funds for their father to travel.
All they needed was a bus ticket, so Officer Hernandez bought one way.
“I have a child that was recently diagnosed with epilepsy, and I know how hard it can be when you have to deal with medications and additional care, and it puts a burden on the family, and that's pretty much the spot that they were in,” said Hernandez.
Officer Hernandez said his fellow officers helped him out during his own crisis and he saw this as an opportunity to give back.