Joel Hartman (pictured), the homeless man who found and returned a wallet full of credit cards and an ID to a hotel guest, was rewarded $500, clothing and a room to occupy until Thanksgiving by the hotel chain, according to Fox 8 News Atlanta.
The wallet belonged to a woman from France who had stayed at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. The woman, Anne Drouart, who was in Atlanta for a nephrology convention, was attacked by an assailant who then snatched her bag as she walked towards her car. The 45-year-old woman could not get a good fix on the man who assaulted her.
Hartman was digging through a garbage can in search for food when he found the woman’s property.
Schelping a 90-pound bag of all of his worldly possessions behind him, the 36-year-old man then took the wallet to four area hotels in search of its rightful owner. When he arrived at the Omni, a staff member discovered that Drouart was still a guest at the hotel. Hartman left the wallet with the hotel security staff, gave an alias of Josh Crabber, then shuffled off.
Watch news story below:
Security photos showed Hartman leaving the wallet at the hotel and after viewing the pictures, Omni officials began searching for him. Hartman’s picture spread like wildfire, after the hotelier shared it via social media, news outlets and at homeless shelters. Someone who had seen the picture of Hartman recognized him when he was riding a bus.
He tells MyFox Atlanta, “I was riding the bus and this girl that usually rides the same bus as me, she’s like, ‘I think somebody’s looking for you.’”
But why would a homeless man turn in a wallet and not take total advantage of its contents?
“I look at something like that as the opportunity to do the right thing,” says the man who became homeless and has battled depression after losing his wife a year ago.
Since being awarded the reward money, first thing Harman did was tip the waiter who brought him room service.
The Omni is planning to establish a fund for Hartman so that he can get back on his feet.