BARNESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — A homeless teenager found sleeping in a tent outside a Georgia college after biking six hours to get there is receiving an outpouring of help and support from across the country.
Media outlets report police officers discovered 19-year-old Fred Barley on Gordon State College campus last weekend.
Barley told officers that he rode his little brother’s bicycle more than 50 miles from Conyers to Barnesville to register for classes. He planned to stay there until the dorms opened in August.
Instead of ticketing Barley for trespassing, the officers put him in a motel room.
“I could tell he was a good kid … who had been dealt a bad hand,” officer Dicky Carreker says.
Word of Barley’s story traveled fast. The motel owner and a local resident, Casey Blaney, have paid for his stay through Monday, when the college will allow him to move into the dorms early—but he also now has a job at a local pizza joint and has been showered with gifts from strangers, including a new bike, clothes, and school supplies.