• Man with special needs whose bike was stolen gets a new one for free

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax

    Updated:

    After someone stole the bicycle of an Oceanway man with special needs for the second time, members of Oceanway Neighborhood Watch decided to do something about it.

    They pitched in and got him a new one.

    Eric Rooker said he felt “awful” when he saw his bike was gone. But those bad feelings turned to good ones when he saw his brand new bike.

    “He rides his bike around the neighborhood, visits all of the neighbors, so people know who he is. So for people to know of his disability and take advantage of it, I couldn’t stand for it. And I couldn’t stand for him to pay the price,” said Jennifer Bernard, who collected money from people who are part of the Oceanway Neighborhood Watch Facebook page to buy Rooker a flashy new bike.

    “It ended up being 20-plus people, from where we were hoping to maybe get $150 to get him a nice bike, it ended up being $270,” said Bernard.

    Now Rooker is riding in style with a horn, lights, baskets, cup holders, a new helmet and more.

    “My friends got it for me,” said Rooker.

    They also got him a bike lock so he can rest easy knowing his new bike is his for good.

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