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Wednesday, Jul 18, 2018
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Tampa Police’s special gift for boy with spina bifida: A new bike

TAMPA — Police on Friday provided quite the thrill for an 11-year-old boy with spina bifida.

They presented Alexi Martinez with a specially designed adaptive tricycle, allowing him to ride a bike for the first time.

Sergeant Colin McCoy and his team of bicycle patrol officers were inspired after meeting Alexi during a community festival in late April.

During that festival, all of Alexi’s siblings won bicycles as part of a giveaway, but the officers noticed that Alexi — who is wheelchair bound — was upset because he did not receive a bicycle.

So the Tampa Police Department partnered with a company in South Florida that specializes in adaptive tricycles for individuals with physical disabilities to build the $1,500 Sun Seeker trike.

They presented it to him on Friday, and he was able to test it out on an impromptu course set up in front of police headquarters on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa.

"To see the look of pure excitement on Alexi’s face when he saw the bike reminded all of us of why we got into this career, which is just simply to help people," McCoy said.

     
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