Nice going, humanity. You’ve sunk to an abhorrent new low. Apparently, some mouth-breathing skin bag of human excrement thinks it’s cool to steal from kids with disabilities.
For two years Lynda and Anthony Michel tried to scrounge up enough cash to buy their son Malikye a bike. Money is tight for the North Mankato family, which at times leans on food banks, and because Malikye has several special needs a cheap garage sale Huffy wouldn’t do.
Hoping to bring a smile to their kid’s face, last year the Michels reached out to a charity program that donates Christmas presents for families who can’t afford them. Their prayers were answered and “Bubba,” as his parents call him, got a bitchin’ new three-wheeler.
“The look on his face Christmas morning when he saw what it was… See now I’m really going to start crying,” Lynda says choking up.
At 5-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Malikye also battles obesity — a condition compounded by other medications he’s on, Lynda says. The special trike, which has a 400-pound weight limit, was supposed to get him exercising more.
About a month ago the Michels broke it out for the first time. Due to his disabilities, Malikye struggles with fine motor skills and it took him some time to get the hang of it. But after a few tumbles and tears shed, the 11-year-old was cruising.
“This kid has major self-esteem issues, he’s got depression issues,” Lynda says. “He gets bullied at school. He doesn’t really have any friends. So, that made him feel so good about himself. My heart was bursting.”
However, on Sunday night a soul-sucking dick ripped away the boy’s joy. As Anthony was leaving for his morning run, he noticed Malikye’s new ride was no longer locked up outside their house. Someone had cut the chain and stolen his son’s prized possession.
“You never want to see a child’s spirit crushed like that,” Lynda says. “He sighed and looked down, and then looked up and he’s like ‘You know Mom, maybe some other disabled kid needed it more than I did.’ That’s one of the saddest things that I’ve ever heard.”
Unfortunately, Malikye wasn’t the only victim in the Sunday night spree. Not far from the Michels’ place, another kid with special needs had his bike jacked. Isaiah Becker, who has multiple neurological issues and “almost no sense of balance,” says his mother Angie, had his recumbent three-wheel bike taken from their front yard.
Because of his cognitive limitations, the 16-year-old functions like he’s 10, his mother says. However, the roughly $1,300-$1,700 bike, purchased in 2008 with community donations, helped Isaiah have a normal childhood.
“All his friends thought it was the coolest thing,” Angie says. “It’s something that makes him feel like a typical child. It’s something that lets him forget that he’s different.”
Hopefully the two boys will be shredding the North Mankato streets in no time, as GoFundMe.com pages have been set up to get Isaiah and Malikye replacement bikes. In the meantime, Lt. Nicole Adams with the North Mankato Police Department says they don’t have any suspects. But the cops believe the thefts were connected to another Labor Day weekend incident where two standard bicycles were stolen.
Now, before the righteous internet mob dips its pitchforks in cyanide, perhaps we shouldn’t demonize the jerk who STOLE FROM SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS just yet. It’s possible terrorists who hate American children made them do it, threatening to behead a kidnapped Dora the Explorer if they didn’t.
Actually, the Michels think the thief could be a relative with a meth problem, so Dora’s probably fine. Either way, stealing from kids is super weak.
Update: Malikye's bike has been recovered! After we initially spoke, Adams called back with word that late Wednesday afternoon it was found undamaged at North Mankato's Spring Lake Park. "Somebody must have dropped it off there," Adams says.
Pedal on, Bubba!