Derek Graham, a senior trooper with the West Virginia State Police in Princeton, and a fellow trooper were arresting an intoxicated female driver last week when they noticed a baby boy in the back seat of her car. The child, described as an infant, was covered in vomit and reeked of urine and feces.
“It was probably the most disgusting thing I’ve seen thus far in my law enforcement career involving a child, especially an infant,” Graham told The Washington Post in a phone interview.
The baby had to go somewhere … so off to the police station it went.
“In my head, I’m a father myself, and I couldn’t sit there and let him . . . I couldn’t let him sit in that,” Graham continued. Instead, he took matters into his own hands and gave the child a bath in a kitchen sink.
After the bath, the baby boy was wrapped in a towel and cradled until Child Protective Service officials came by. Now, with CPS’ intervention, has has a legal guardian and is safe.
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Lieutenant Michael Baylous, public information officer for the West Virginia State Police, says he’s “not surprised” by the incident.
“The superintendent of the West Virginia State Police has strongly encouraged us to not just focus on the protection, but also on the service part of ‘protect and serve,'” Baylous said in a phone interview with TODAY. “So it doesn’t surprise me at all.
“Our troopers are very active in their communities. They’re stakeholders in their communities. They serve their communities.”
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Like Graham, Baylous is a father … and he believes there was a basic instinct behind what Graham did.
“I can understand that he saw a need that needed to be taken care of with this child, and he did what needed to be done.”
He added that he and the other troopers hope the baby’s parents are able to get their lives back on track and be able to provide a loving and safe environment for their child