By Steve Overmyer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Doing the right thing doesn’t always come with a reward. But when virtue prevails, it leads to positive outcomes.

Phil Sexton rides his fat tire bike everywhere. It gives him a connection to the city.

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“This bike is called the ‘fun fatty’ because no matter where I ride it, it makes people smile,” Sexton told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer on Wednesday.

Little did he know the joy this bike would deliver.

“I noticed this guitar case leaning against the scaffolding next to a pile of garbage,” he said. “As a guitar player — I play guitar myself — and I can’t … I just couldn’t … I can’t leave it.”

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Sexton said he picked it up just moments before it would’ve been lost to a downpour. Inside was the very common name of Daniel Martinez.

“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is somebody’s baby! Somebody is crushed right now,'” Sexton said.

“Because you know what it would be like if you lost your guitar,” Overmyer said.

“Well, the thing is, I did lose a guitar. When I first moved to New York I had a guitar taken from me,” Sexton said. “These guitars are more of an extension of our emotion, to channel it through your fingertips into the instrument.”

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Daniel Martinez, left, and Phil Sexton. (Photo: CBS2)

So, after hours of internet sleuthing he and his wife found a video of Martinez playing in a Mariachi band, and with him was the guitar.

Sexton emailed Martinez and quickly got a response.

“‘That’s my guitar, bro,'” Sexton said.

“You could hear the tears in his email?” Overmyer said.

“You could see it. I’m like, ‘Come get your guitar, man. I got your baby,'” Sexton said.

Hernandez said he simply forgot to pack the guitar with the rest of his equipment. Later, when he was reunited with his instrument, he and Sexton held an impromptu jam session.

You didn’t need to be a music aficionado to hear the joy.

“It sounds like you were reliving your experience through him,” Overmyer said.

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“If you can cause another person to be blessed, then why not?” Sexton said. “We’re New Yorkers. We’re all in this together, you know? We gotta look out for each other. We have to have each other’s back. I try to make sure that I live that example.”

Steve Overmyer