MASTIC, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island mother said a cruel person stole the wheelchair ramp that her 5-year-old daughter relies on.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall On The Story
Mastic resident Alicia Biondo’s daughter, Evelynn, is blind, has seizures, and cannot walk, all as a result of being shaken severely by her father as a newborn. He is now serving 16 years in prison for that crime.
Biondo said the wheelchair ramp is essential to her daughter’s everyday life.
“There’s no way I can get her to and from school, in and out of the bus without the ramp,” she told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall. “I really would love to know what’s going through your mind when you want to steal a ramp. Why would you place that burden on somebody else?”
Police told Biondo it’s possible someone stole the 8-foot, portable, metal wheelchair ramp to sell for scrap metal.
“How do you do that to a disabled child? I don’t care if you needed the money; find another way,” said Michelle Walz, Evelynn’s grandmother.
“I take it personally that you could do this to someone that’s already been through so much in her young life,” Biondo told 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera.
“It’s really disgusting, actually, that somebody could do that,” she added.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports
After hearing about the theft, a good Samaritan came to the rescue to build the family a temporary ramp.
“I heard about the tragedy and I’m just here to help. I’m trying to build them a temporary ramp so she has access to get in and out. I have a niece that has the same problem and you got to try to help people out when they are down like this,” carpenter David Lohr told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
Lohr and his son, Corey, drove to Biondo’s Mastic home from Ronkonkoma to build the temporary ramp.
“I’m just trying to help out the community, show some love,” Lohr said.
McLogan asked Biondo what her daughter would think of these good Samaritans if she could speak.
“I think she would be just as amazed as me,” Biondo told McLogan.
After hearing of the incident and the family’s ordeal, many in the community are reaching out to offer comfort, support and even a new permanent metal ramp for the Biondos, CBS 2 reported.
The wheelchair ramp cost Biondo $500 when she bought it new, McLogan reported.
At a police briefing held Thursday afternoon, officials said they think it was targeted for scrap and melted down. Police said the thieves would have made less than $50 on the scrap.
The police investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information should call the Suffolk County police at 631-852-COPS.