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Akron Police Replace a Bike Stolen from an 89-Year-Old Army Vet

James Pint
WKSU public radio

Except when he's visiting his wife in a nursing home, 89-year-old James Pint's preferred transportation is a bike. That's what he takes to church, and what he takes to pick up a few items at Marc's. Three or four trips a week, as much as a mile-long ride.

Like he did last week, when he parked the bike outside Marc's on Waterloo Road, only to have an employee come up to him after about 20 minutes to tell him someone had just made off with his wheels.

Officer Nathan Stuyvesant took the report. And that got him to thinking.

"There's longevity in my family," he says, referring to a grandfather who died at 106. "And I know what a difference exercise can make."

He asked Lt. Rick Edwards what could be done. It's not new for the department to donate bikes. The effort is funded by Elves & More, a group that raises money to provide new bicycles for kids.

So, Police Chief James Nice, Stuyvesant and other officers arranged to meet Nice at his Firestone Park home to outfit him with his new wheels. He tried them out immediately. A slight adjustment of the seat ("I've got long legs") and he was ready to go.

The bike came complete with a helmet and a lock, both of which Pint promised he'll use. He said the new model beats his old Giant and the rusty Schwinn he's been using in the interim.

He said he was annoyed at the original theft. But, he added, at 89, he doesn't get angry about much.