A heartwarming TikTok that went viral last week after showing a homeless man being taken care of by a kind young woman is not all it seems, with disturbing new information casting a dark shadow on the story.
On January 31, Sanai Graden, a fashion intern in D.C., posted a video to her TikTok showing a homeless man interrupting her while she was vlogging and politely asking for some hot tea. Graden responds that she was on her way to Trader Joe’s, and invites the man to come with her. Rather than just buying him tea, Graden buys the man groceries, helps him get his prescriptions, and even rents him a hotel room.
At the end of the video, Graden expresses that she wished to do more for the man, whose name is Alonzo Douglas Hebron, and announces that she was going to launch a GoFundMe to help him.
Graden’s kindness sparked an outpouring of support, and people quickly rushed to donate money to the GoFundMe established in Hebron’s name. Graden also set up an Amazon Wishlist for Hebron in an effort to help him buy necessities.
As of the writing of this article, Graden’s GoFundMe has raised over $400,000, and prompted a “pay it forward” fundraiser from supporters who wished to give Graden a financial blessing.
Please help me help him !♬ original sound – Nai
But what should have been a feel-good story about a young woman trying to help someone in need has taken a decidedly darker turn. Exclusive information obtained by Fox5 D.C. has revealed that Hebron is a violent criminal with a lengthy history.
One of his victims came forward to speak to press about her experience with Hebron, stating that she had been brutally assaulted by him in 2020. According to the police report, the attack was caught on film, showing Hebron putting a scarf over the victim’s head before punching and kicking her repeatedly in the head. The attack lasted several minutes, and left the victim with horrific bruises on her face.
The victim, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was “heartbroken” after seeing the video and the positive reception Hebron had been receiving.
“First of all – kudos to the woman who did this. She meant well, and I do applaud her for that. I know it was a lot of work for her to do so, but portraying him as something he just simply isn’t…”
The victim goes on to say that Hebron is known to be dangerous amongst the homeless community in D.C.
Records from the Department of Justice reveal that back in November of 2012, Hebron was sentenced to five years in prison for stabbing a man in the neck with a screwdriver during a fight on Queen Street in Northeast D.C. He also has other assaults and robberies in his record.
“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 victim said. “He will not stop. I don’t know what they’re waiting for.”
While Graden has not yet responded to the new information, the news has begun circulating on social media, where many are expressing disappointment and anger.
“I knew it,” user @empresskelani wrote. “Anytime you see a homeless man in DC he’s either an addict or an abuser who’s exhausted all his options. Do you know how many successful, professional women will dust off a man and build him up?”
Another user, @planetofjah, recounted how she had been physically assaulted by a homeless man in a train station, but was “damn near digitally crucified” by “social justice warriors” on X after expressing her opinion on them.
Some have also questioned what will happen with the GoFundMe donations now that Hebron’s disturbing past has been revealed.
Despite this new information coming to light, many social media accounts with large followings have kept the donation links for Hebron up.