On Friday, Victor King was arrested for allegedly leaving his five young children home alone all day while he went to work.
The 30-year-old man listed Chipotle as his employer. ABC 11 called the store nearest King’s North Carolina home and spoke to a manager, who relayed that King had in fact left his children with a neighbor, and it was the neighbor who had left them alone.
However, the woman who called 911 said that King had left the children home for a second day in a row. Even more, she said that when she had tried to help King find a babysitter, he refused the offer.
Making the case even more convoluted is the fact that the prosecutor on the case reported that King was previously convicted in California for child cruelty.Screenshot/ABC 11
The details of the case had King’s community conflicted with his arrest, especially considering that the father of five explained to the judge in his case:
“Two weeks ago my wife was diagnosed with stage four cancer. And I’m practically like her only way to pay for all of her medical bills. So I was wondering if I could get out early and I can still work so I won’t lose my job so I can still pay for her medical expenses.”
Touched by the heartbreaking details of King’s case, a local teacher, Rikki Hilliard, reached out to help the man return to his family and to work. Prior to seeing his case on the local news, Hilliard and King were complete strangers. She told ABC 13:
“When I saw that he was just a working dad trying to take care of his family and had trouble with his kids it really broke my heart that he was out working and trying to raise money to support his wife and his family and ended up being arrested in the process. So that really touched me and I was really focused on helping the children.”
While those helping out are mostly locals, fundraisers in Detroit and St. Louis have also reached out to ABC 11 about helping out. King’s sister-in-law caught word of the random acts of kindness and issued a statement:
Words cannot express the family’s gratitude and appreciation for all of the wonderful thoughts and emails, kind words of encouragement, and generous donations during this difficult time. We are amazed with the outpouring of love, support and prayers coming from so many people we’ve never met. Thank you for your willingness to assist in any way that you can.
Hilliard set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for the King family. However, after raising $1,300 in just a few hours, the page was taken down because she was not directly related to King. After receiving King’s consent, though, the page is supposedly now up and running again.
However, upon searching for the original GoFundMe page, numerous campaigns for Victor King popped up. On a campaign that was recently closed, the woman who set it up, Shannon Sproston, acknowledged that certain pages might be fake. She wrote:
Apparently the original campaign that collected over $7,000 was a scam 🙁 I would recommend trying to find a way to donate directly to the family and it seems that none of the gofundme owners are being as transparent as I am.
Hilliard just wanted to do “some good,” and is thrilled that others are so willing to do the same. “My heart is definitely warmed by the thought of that many people across the country who’ve been touched by helping this family out,” she said.