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Viral Video Raises $400,000 for Homeless Man, But Then His True Identity Is Revealed: ‘I’m Speechless’

viral-video-raises-$400,000-for-homeless-man,-but-then-his-true-identity-is-revealed:-‘i’m-speechless’
Viral Video Raises $400,000 for Homeless Man, But Then His True Identity Is Revealed: ‘I’m Speechless’

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Viral Video Raises $400,000 for Homeless Man, But Then His True Identity Is Revealed: ‘I’m Speechless’

 By Jack Davis  February 10, 2024 at 1:34pm

It was a feel-good story that was good while it lasted. Then the truth stepped in.

In early February, Sanai Graden, a fashion intern and student at UC Berkeley, had an encounter with a homeless man in Washington, D.C. Over the next five hours, she bought him tea, medicine and a hotel room as she recorded it all on video, according to the Daily Mail.

The video went viral on TikTok, with more than 30 million views. A GoFundMe topped $400,000.

Then came some news that made the folks at GoFundMe hold onto the cash until they decide what’s right.

It turns out the homeless man in the video, whose plight drew the sympathy of millions, has an arrest record for violence, according to WTTG-TV.

WARNING: The following news clip contains scenes of violence that some may find disturbing.

This is the viral TikTok video: pic.twitter.com/ybxsUM7YHI

— Sierra Fox (@thesierrafox) February 7, 2024

The station identified the man as Alonzo Douglas Hebron, and spoke to a woman whose name it withheld for her safety, saying he attacked her in June 2020.

Video of the incident shows a man putting a scarf over the woman’s head while she was sleeping near a church and then punching her repeatedly on the face and body. The woman said she woke up in a hospital after the incident.

“I’m speechless,” the woman said. “I do not understand how a human being can act like this. He’s a sociopath. He does not have a sense of remorse.”

“I’ve been struggling since then. I’m an alcoholic in recovery,” she said. “Last week was my 18-month anniversary and the last two days, I came close, but I didn’t, because he’s not worth it.”

Department of Justice files show that in 2012, Hebron was sentenced to five years in prison after stabbing a man in the neck with a screwdriver.

In June of last year, Hebron was released to a halfway house, escaped, and was returned. WTTG could not find a date for his release.

“Why is he on the street? How many people does he have to hurt before – I’m sorry – he is locked up for good?” the woman who said he assaulted her said. “He will not stop. I don’t know what they’re waiting for.”

The woman said Graden is not to blame for trying to do a good deed, saying “kudos to the woman who did this. She meant well, and I do applaud her for that.”

What bothered her, she said, was  “portraying him as something he just simply isn’t.”

EXCLUSIVE ???????? Did you see that viral TikTok video of a college student interning in DC and buying a homeless man tea? The young lady then created a GoFundMe page for him that has now raised more than $400K. However, @fox5dc has uncovered the man has a lengthy criminal history. pic.twitter.com/fCEYqvgQ7y

— Sierra Fox (@thesierrafox) February 7, 2024

Graden said she felt compelled to help.

“I just didn’t want to leave him with just tea. I wanted to leave him with more so like I tried to help him as much as I could. So that’s why you saw me running around all over DC,” she said, according to WUSA-TV.

“He just reminded me of my uncle, so I’m like ‘unc,’ and then naturally he just real cool, and real respectful, and I’m just like, ‘OK, I like you’,” Graden said.

“He was in pain, it was really hard to watch and I’m like no, I want to post this,” Graden said.


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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.

Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.

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