An image captured by a bystander in Pierce County, Washington, showing a local deputy sitting down for a meal with a homeless man has quickly gone viral.
Darren Ballard, Sr. happened to glance over at a tree where the police deputy and the homeless man were sharing a meal. Ballard was so amazed at the sight that he had to take a picture, and after posting it on Facebook, it almost immediately started going viral.
“I look over and there's an officer in uniform, sitting on the grass, sitting with a homeless guy sharing a sandwich and I was just blown away,” Ballard told KING 5 News. “To sit there and get personal with him on a level, he's just being friendly. It's awesome.”
Soon after the photo started spreading across the Internet, the identities of both the deputy and the homeless man were revealed. James Haynes, the homeless man, told KING 5 News that Pierce County Deputy Mike Huffman has brought him sandwiches before, and while he’s always grateful for the food, he really looks forward to sitting down and talking.
“Sometimes we talk for hours, sometimes we talk for 10 minutes,” Haynes said, noting that he’s known Huffman for around a year. “He takes time out of his day to talk and if he gets a call, he'll run and take it. He smiles all the time and makes me laugh. It's very depressing out here.”
Ballard says he’s happy the photo went viral.
“It meant a lot to me for everyone to see this image because there are awesome police officers out there and they don't get enough credit,” Ballard said.
Deputy Huffman has refused to comment on the photo, and police representatives say he doesn’t want any recognition for the good deed.