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Ahwatukee community comes together to help autistic teen get his wheels back

Posted at 11:01 AM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 12:41:34-05

AHWATUKEE, AZ — Residents in Ahwatukee came together to help an autistic teen get back on two wheels after his bike was stolen.

Joseph Sharp says it all began when he saw a post on a community Facebook group, asking everyone to keep an eye out for a bicycle that was taken from a teen in the area. The post was made by the victim's father, Spencer Scott, who said his son Jack had taken his bike to the Dutch Bros location near 32nd Street and Chandler Boulevard on Tuesday afternoon. Within a few minutes, his bike was gone.

The Scott family just wanted the bike back -- no questions asked.

"I thought to myself, this is a sad situation that somebody would steal a bike from anybody," Sharp said in a message to ABC15. "...I had to do something."

Members of the online Ahwatukee group worked together to raise $305 to get Jack a bicycle. Sharp worked with the teen's father to meet up at the store so the teen could pick out a brand new pair of wheels.

Sharp learned that the Jack had been riding his bike to get in shape for a Special Olympics basketball team. Scott also says he will bike to work once he turns 16 next month and finds a job.

The new bike came out to just over $200, so they gave the teen the rest of the funds in cash.

"He is a very awesome kid that has high ambitions and I just felt like I wanted to do something for him," Sharp said.

The local Dutch Bros also reportedly gave him some new swag.

"I was devastated to hear that his bike was stolen at our location, and unfortunately there wasn't much we were able to do about that situation," said manager Justin Haag. "Dutch Bros is all about making the best out of every situation. The best things in life are unpredictable and when the opportunity to help out a person in need no matter how big or small presented itself, it just made sense."

Haag said he hadn't met the teen before the incident, but said "he was beyond grateful, and just an overall nice person."

Scott says Jack has gone back to Dutch Bros store twice since getting his new bike to get treats and "he thanks them every time."

Scott also says their family is grateful to the community and Sharp, for organizing such a good deed for his son, who only a few days ago, was just a stranger.

"This week he rallied a whole community to not only give our son this gift, but made him feel special with all of the compassion, attention and support this community has offered."