Police officers are often expected to go above and beyond the call of duty when situations arise in the ever-uncertain business of serving the public.
The way one particular officer reacted to an absolutely jaw-dropping situation, though, has been inspiring the public after a video of him was posted on social media.
LAPD Officer John Neal Cooke had responded to what was initially believed to be a simple hit-and-run one evening. A car had crashed into a fire hydrant, sending a powerful torrent of water shooting high into the air—and instead of sticking around to wait for authorities, the driver had abandoned her vehicle.
“Witnesses tell us, ‘Hey, there was only one person involved, one car involved, and she went running down the street,'” Cooke told CBS Los Angeles.
But it turned out she wasn’t alone in the vehicle. There was still one passenger left inside.
When Cooke and the other responding officers glanced into the car, they found a 2-year-old boy in the backseat, crying and alone.
After being in a scary car accident and abandoned to fend for himself, the boy was distraught. Cooke acted quickly and responded with what the situation called for at that moment: offering the boy his bottle and consoling him in his arms while the fellow officers responded to the scene and surveyed the situation.
“He was crying and reaching for me so I mean it’s kind of just human nature,” Cooke said.
Meanwhile, a bystander caught the video of Cooke with the young boy, hugging him and whispering comforting words throughout the ordeal.
Being a part of a big family, for Cooke, it came in quite naturally to comfort the little boy, who was terrified. The video clip shows Cooke patting the little boy.
“I’ve been taking care of kids since I was kid as they say,” he said.
The video, after being posted on YouTube by Inside Edition, went viral racking up over 6 million views.
One user wrote, “What an amazing officer. My heart melted when the little boy reached out for him.”
While another enthused user wrote: “AWWWWW he reached his arms out to the officer and it was so cute that melted my heart, he is or will be a great dad.”
Another concerned user commented, “poor baby, seeing him crying is heartbreaking. I hope he is okay now. beautiful act by the cop.”
“It was pretty shocking to think, not only did she leave him at all, but the fact she left him in such a dangerous situation,” Cooke said, according to CBS Los Angeles. The water gushing near the abandoned vehicle could have easily put the young boy at risk, and the darkened streets could have caused another accident while the child was still inside.
The mom was found later and arrested for the hit-and-run, and the young boy was staying safely with relatives. At that time, in that place, what he needed the most was the comfort and security of an adult’s arms, and Cooke was there to answer the call of duty—though in an unexpected way!