HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Video capturing a Huntington Beach police officer playing hopscotch with a little girl who is homeless has gone viral.
Officer Zach Pricer says he was just doing his job Wednesday as he checked on the child and her mother at a local park.
“Kids look at me like I’m some scary creature that’s gonna eat them sometimes, so you know, basic things. I try to get down to their level. If there is any kind of activity that’s available, I usually try to do it,” he said.
Pricer put the 11-year-old at ease by joining in on something she loves: hopscotch.
One of his partners’ recorded the child play on his cellphone and the video has reached more than 1.5 million people on Facebook and has been viewed 695,000 times in less than 24 hours.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m a hopscotcher. I retired from hopscotching in about the fifth grade and then came out of retirement when my daughter was about 5,” said Pricer.
“It didn’t completely surprise me and I’ve seen this over the years. Officers do all sorts of things that are maybe out of the ‘police officer character’ because we’re all just human beings,” said Scott Marsh, a Huntington Beach police officer.
“I think I’m a better SWAT guy than I am maybe at hopscotch,” Pricer said. “I’ll probably just stick with what I know.”
Meanwhile, authorities said via Facebook that an officer did contact the department’s homeless task force to help arrange housing.