After someone stole a tricycle from a woman with cerebral palsy — her only mode of transportation — a police officer made a promise to go the extra mile to right a wrong Wednesday.
Louticia Terry was born with cerebral palsy. Her balance and motor skills make it impossible to drive. The 45-year-old single mother rode an adult-sized tricycle to get around until it was stolen June 15, she said.
Terry and her daughter Meaghan had gone to grab frozen yogurt last Wednesday when they arrived back home and saw that someone stole the trike.
"My trike was gone. I said, 'Oh no, what am I going to do?" Terry said.
Meaghan, 11, said she was devastated as well.
"Why would they steal a handicapped person's bike?" Meaghan said. "If it was a trike, then they would have known there's something wrong with them. Because there's not that many trikes."
The mother and daughter weren't alone in their disbelief.
Tustin police Officer Tom Knostman was just as angry. He was the officer to arrive and take the family's police report that day. After seeing this horrible wrong, he couldn't just leave things the way they were.
He told the family he wanted to replace the bike at his own expense.
"He went above and beyond the call of duty," Terry said.
What's more, Knostman didn't want any attention for what he did. NBC4 reached him for an interview by phone.
"It means a great deal to her and the money really didn't mean that much to me, so it was really easy for me to do something for her that meant a lot to her," Knostman said.
Meaghan and her mother managed to get him on the phone.
"Thank you so much for getting the bike," Meaghan said on the phone to Knostman.
The officer told NBC4 he wishes he could fix everything for everyone.
"Then she can take me to school. We can go get groceries and we can go do a lot of things and have fun," Meaghan said.
Mother and daughter will soon hit the streets again. The tricycle is scheduled for delivery on Thursday.
This wasn't the first time Knostman went above and beyond after hearing of injustice in his community.
Tustin police say when an American flag was vandalized, it was Knostman, a retired marine, who not only replaced the flag but also held a flag ceremony as well. Knostman told us by phone he wasn't acting like a police officer this time: just a human being.