A bike thief tried to destroy an autistic boy’s summer. Take his wheels and his freedom.
Thanks to Rock Hill cops and York County firefighters, Austin Griffin got his bicycle back, fixed and better than ever.
“This is awesome!” the 11-year-old said late Wednesday, when members of the Fire & Iron Motorcycle Club Station 88 pulled up, in force on their loud motorcycles, to Austin’s home on Cedar Street.
The bikers brought the repaired bike in the back of a pickup truck.
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Because Austin has autism, a special bike was given to him that was made and paid for by the motorcycle group. The bike has three rear wheels to make it steady, and a siren and horn. It also has a special compartment.
Fire & Iron is a motorcycle group with chapters worldwide. Members are either firefighters or supporters of fire services. Station 88 is based in Rock Hill.
The bicycle was stolen June 22. Rock Hill Police Officers took a report from Austin’s tearful mother, Jennifer Tomchek, but did not quit. The officers found the bike blocks away from the home, damaged, behind a store.
Austin was so thankful that he spent three days making a card for the Rock Hill police to thank them. Many on the shift who helped went to Austin’s house last week to meet him in person and thank him for the card.
Russell and the other Fire & Iron members then fixed the bike’s wheels and delivered it in style.
“I just want to thank the police for finding my bike, and these guys here for fixing it so I can ride again,” Austin said. “I am ready to roll.”
That’s exactly what Austin did.
He put on his helmet and rolled on the special three-wheeled bike that helps him with his balance. He pedaled, fast and furious, as grown men wearing motorcycle colors and tattoos clapped. Some tough guys even turned away to hide tears that come with good their good deed for a kid.