When West Virginia senior trooper Derek Graham pulled over a woman for driving while intoxicated, he never expected to look in the backseat and see a baby boy. The baby was only wearing a diaper and was covered in vomit, urine and feces. As Graham describes it in an interview with the Washington Post, he was "just covered from head to toe [in] vomit."
“It was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve seen thus far in my law enforcement career involving a child, especially an infant," he continues.
The female driver was arrested, but that meant the distraught baby had no where to go. So Graham brought him back to the police station, and soon after, the viral photograph above was taken.
The baby, described as being in "bad shape," was understandably incredibly upset and Graham, who's a father himself, couldn't just let him sit there soiled and "crying profusely." So he decided to give him a little bath in the kitchen sink. And, according to Graham, it apparently made all the difference for the stressed-out tot.
"As soon as I got him there, and got some bubbles in there with him, we both locked eyes and it was ... he started smiling, [at] which I started smiling. It was almost like he knew—he felt so much better. And he was just a completely different baby after that."
After his mini bath time, the baby was all tuckered out so he just laid on the trooper's chest and hung out with him for the rest of the evening until child protective services showed up. Fellow troopers even found him a teddy bear to play with.
The baby is now in the care of a legal guardian and this mother, who was too intoxicated to even remember her baby's name, is facing criminal charges.
While the internet is going wild lauding Graham for his compassionate actions, he doesn't see what he did as an act of heroism, but as simply following his fatherly instincts.
"Forget state trooper, forget law enforcement officer. It was dad that took over, [and] said, ‘I gotta clean this little guy up.’"
He now just hopes that the baby's parents can get their act together and be reunited with their sweet little one.
Photograph by: West Virginia State Police