Damian Faust was peddling his way to meet his friends in Aldan Tuesday evening when a man on a bike rode up next to him.
The man asked if he could ride the 12-year-old’s wheels. When Faust said no, the encounter turned dangerous.
“He said ‘If you don’t give me that bike, I’m gonna have to shoot you,’” the boy told NBC10 Friday.
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Faust said when he objected again, the man pushed him to the ground and rode away with both bikes.
The police were called and when Aldan police officer Chris Izzi showed up, he could tell Faust was pretty shaken up. He wrote a police report, learning that the boy had saved up money to buy the bike on his own.
“I’m a father of four children. I have a child Damian’s age. I just felt so bad for him. I couldn’t imagine if it happened to my child,” Izzi said.
Izzi decided to turn the scary and disappointing encounter around. On Wednesday, he showed up at Faust’s home in nearby Clifton Heights with a surprise: a brand-new Mongoose bike.
“He said ‘Go get your mom’ and I ran in screaming ‘He bought me a bike,” Faust said. “I was really happy.”
Damian’s mom, Sandy Luciani, said she started crying over the kind gesture.
“I was in tears because all you hear is negativity about police officers,” Luciani said.
Izzi said it was just an opportunity to give back to the community.
“No child should have to go through this. They should be able to go out and ride their bikes and not fear for their safety,” he said.