CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Chattanooga police officer's good deed gets noticed, goes viral
An eyewitness took a photo of a Chattanooga police officer helping a man down on his luck, which has caught a lot of attention on social media.
Chad Yates has been a Chattanooga officer for three years and says it was a normal day on patrol this past Sunday.
Officer Chad Yates responded to a call about man in a MAPCO convenience store parking lot near downtown. When he arrived, he saw a man barefoot on hot concrete.
"When I got there, I noticed he had two pieces of cardboard he was standing on to keep his feet from getting burned from the pavement,” Officer Yates said.
Officer Yates says the man's name is Marion and they've met before.
Since the concrete was scolding hot, Yates knew he had to do something to help.
"I noticed he was still trying to move that cardboard, so I told him to hold on for a few minutes and I'd be right back. I went up the road, ask him his shoe size, went up the street to the Goodwill and bought him a pair of shoes, which helped him get on his way,” Yates said.
Officer Yates says Marion expressed sincere gratitude for the shoes.
"To be able to make a difference for that guy, in his life, or just that day, it just felt good for me," said Officer Yates.
Chris Kerns was the man working the register when Yates bought the shoes.
When Kerns heard of Yates' good deed, it made him happy to hear how Chattanooga’s finest stepped up.
"You hear so much police negativity going on, and here's an officer doing a good deed for someone in the community that really needed it,” Kerns said.
The gesture didn't go unnoticed.
Blake Burnette was getting gas at a nearby pump and saw what happened. He immediately snapped a picture and posted it to Facebook.
The post has gained hundreds of likes in a matter of hours.
"That's why I really posted it. I just felt like people share the negative stuff a lot faster than the positive. So, I wanted to add a little positive to people's day," said Burnette.
Burnette's post has caught so much attention, even Police Chief David Roddy commented on the post giving praise to Yates.
But Yates wasn't doing it for the praise.
"One of the things that was grained in our head when we were coming up was we are servants. We are a public servant. And, you know, that's our duty. But as a human being also, you want to help people. And that's why I started this job. Because I like to help people,” Yates said.
Yates says services runs in his family. His dad and multiple family members have been a part of the Chattanooga Police Department.
He hopes he can continue to serve the community he loves.