Sherman Oaks

Boy With Cerebral Palsy Given New Custom Bike After First Was Stolen

After his bike was stolen, owners of a Sherman Oaks bike shop raised enough money to buy a 13-year-old special needs boy a new custom-made bike

Damian Jeffries' face lit up Friday when he spotted his new custom bike with a red bow sitting in the corner of a Vespa store in Sherman Oaks.

The surprise bike that the 13 year old with cerebral palsy will use to get around after a homeless man stole his previous bike last month. It was custom-made so that he could get around on his own.

"I was kind of angry about it," said David Meyer, who owns the shop along with his wife and helped raise money for the new cycle. "The next morning we decided to act." 

Wife Lynda said the couple reached out to the biking community online and to nearby businesses to raise the more than $4,000 for the bike.

"It was $20 here, $10 there," she said. "Even local businesses reached out."

The couple saw Damians' story about his stolen bike on the news and recognized the boy.

The bike was listed at more than $5,000 but the manufacturers dropped it down to $4,000. A lawyer contributed $1,000 and the Meyers pitched in $500.

Surveillance video showed a man taking the modified bike outside a Burbank apartment on Jan. 23.

The bike was returned five days later after a woman spotted the cycle abandoned alongside a road about 10 miles away in Silver Lake. There were parts missing, cables severed, and portions of the frame damaged. The man was arrested.

"He's a kid who already has the cards stacked against him in a way," Lynda Meyer said of Damian. "He deserves to know that there is good out there, too."

The new bike was ordered before the stolen one being found, but Lynda said the old bike is being fixed and then will be donated to charity.

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