(HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif.) — This police officer literally jumped to help cheer up an 11-year-old homeless girl who he discovered had been living out of a car with her mother in Huntington Beach, California.
While his partner talked with the mother to help get them housing arrangements, Officer Zach Pricer decided to distract the girl from the “adult people problem” with a game of hopscotch, or as he likes to call it, “copscotch.”
Pricer’s partner was able to shoot a video of the encounter on Wednesday. It was later posted to the Huntington Beach Police Department’s Facebook where it’s been viewed nearly 1 million times and has gotten thousands of positive comments.
“I had to check the welfare of the little girl, so I have to earn her trust and get her comfortable with me first,” Pricer told ABC News. He explained that he’s used other games and toys like Nerf guns as “ice breakers” to gain children’s trust.
Pricer said that once he got the 11-year-old to open up, he was “blown away by her intelligence and happy-go-lucky attitude.”
“She was very gracious,” the officer said. “Despite having nearly nothing, she was offering to me everything she had to play with. She showed me her bubbles and her little pink shoes that were falling apart but that she still loved. It was amazing to see how thankful she was for what she did have.”
The police department’s Housing Task Force is currently working on finalizing plans to help get the girl and her mother into a housing arrangement, Pricer said.
“And I just want to say that this is the kind of thing a lot of cops in communities across the country do every day,” he added. “It just so happened my buddy was messing around and happened to capture it on film.”
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