Young Boy with Spina Bifida Receives Surprise from Tampa Police Officers
For Immediate Release
For additional information, please contact:
Janelle H. McGregor, Tampa Police Department Spokesperson
Tampa, Fla. (June 1, 2018) — A young boy who is living with spina bifida received a big surprise from Tampa Police officers and community donors. Alexi, 10, thought he was going to a doctor’s appointment on June 1, but instead his family brought him to the Tampa Police Department’s downtown headquarters where he received his first bike.
The adaptive tricycle that he received is designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities such as spina bifida. Alexi exclaimed “awesome” with a huge burst of excitement when he opened his eyes and saw the customized bike in front of him. Officers assigned to the department’s Bicycle Unit set up a simple course on Franklin Street, where Alexi was able to test out his new set of wheels. Representatives from the OnBikes organization, University Bicycle Center, and Spectra Healthcare Management teamed up to help purchase and assemble the $1500 Sun Seeker trike. They stood next to Alexi’s family members to cheer him on as he cruised through the course.
Sergeant Colin McCoy and with his team of bicycle patrol officers met Alexi at a community festival in late April. All of Alexi’s siblings won bicycles as part of a giveaway at the event. The officers noticed that Alexi, who is wheelchair bound, was distraught because he did not receive a bicycle. They did not want Alexi’s condition to prevent him from having a bike, so they located a company in South Florida that specializes in adaptive tricycles for individuals who are living with physical disabilities.
“To see the look of pure excitement on Alexi’s face when he saw the bike reminded all of us of why we got into this career, which is just simply to help people,” shared Sergeant McCoy.
During the past four years Sergeant McCoy and his officers have conducted dozens of bicycle rodeos and giveaways at community events similar to the one Alexi and his family attended. “This was by far one of the coolest things we’ve done,” he said.