In Ocean Beach, two police officers turned a petty theft call into an act of compassion and humanity.
Rookie San Diego police officers Dominic Collins and his partner Christian Nimmons are experiencing the complexity of the city’s homeless and transient population firsthand.
“I’m born and raised here so I’ve kind of seen the homeless crisis. You see it everywhere, in any part of San Diego,” said Collins.
One chilly January morning, they answered a petty theft call from Rite Aid. A barefoot homeless man named Daniel had removed the tags of a sweatshirt and refused to take it off.
“' You know we don’t want to press charges, we just want the sweater back so that he'll be on his way,'” said Collins, recounting the Rite Aid employee’s words.
“I asked how much it cost and looked over at my partner Dom and he already knew where I was going with it. He then stepped inside to pay for the sweatshirt,” Nimmons said.
The store employee then ended up giving Daniel the sweatshirt, but the good deeds didn’t stop there.
“We’re humans too so, let’s just give him a pair of socks and shoes,” Collins said.
It’s no secret the coastal communities tend to attract homeless and transient populations, oftentimes these people face mental health and addiction issues.
The officers told NBC 7, they’re aware one act of kindness will cause a small ripple in the homeless crisis but that’s why they chose to serve the community.
“Maybe a long term solution too and I mean now he’s got people who care. Us, we care,” Collins said.
“One thing I learned in the marines is your feet are your life. You gotta take care of your feet so maybe he can start a new life with his feet taken care of,” said Collins.
NBC 7 could not locate Daniel. SDPD could not release his last name or any info, as it’s against policy.
A Rite Aid corporate spokesperson could not comment on this story, but is aware of the kind act by their employee.