BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Danny Raymond was filling in on the night shift for one of his employees when he noticed an elderly man roaming the property at the Sheraton Hotel.
What Raymond didn’t know was that he would become a hero.
“You know at the end of the day, I was put here for a reason,” Raymond said. “I think, just like that night, there was a reason I came into work that overnight shift and this happened.”
Raymond is the Safety and Security Director at the Sheraton, and that night he happened to be looking at the various security cameras when he noticed a man wandering back and forth in his hotel. So Raymond went to check on him.
“There is no hotel rooms registered to his name or his wife’s name,” Raymond said. “Because he says that his wife was here in the area, he didn’t know where she was at this time, and then he says again that she is in the car.”
Except that she wasn’t in the car. Barry Linn Hays suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s, and he left his home in Hartselle, more than an hour away, without any identification or a cell phone.
“As myself and the Birmingham officers was speaking to him, he’s adamant that the car belongs to him and everything,” Raymond said. “So the best way to figure it out was to run the tag.”
While running the tag, police discovered Hays was reported missing by his family around 5 p.m.that Monday, and at this point, it was past midnight. Hartselle Police informed the family of Hays’s whereabouts and they quickly got to Birmingham and breathed a sigh of relief.
“A lot of appreciation, just very thankful and very happy,” Raymond said, describing the family’s mental state. “It was a great feeling to see them come together, and you know, to know to know that I was a part of it.”
Raymond is a retired Birmingham Police officer, and he endlessly thanked Officers Philip Jones and Anthony Mason for showing what community policing really looks like.
Hays is back in Hartselle in the care of his family and is said to be doing okay.