On Sunday, 22-year-old northside resident Saul went inside QuikTrip to get a drink and talk to his uncle. While inside, his bike was stolen.
Saul depends on his bike to get around to his many volunteer commitments. He spends his time mentoring youth at the Underground Youth Center, Hope for da Hood and the Evergreen Rec Center. With a disability, his bike is his only form of transportation.
“It wouldn’t be possible to do all those things without my bike,” Saul said.
Once he discovered his bike was gone, he went back inside the Quik Trip to report it stolen. While on the phone, a car accident happened out front near the intersection at 21st and Jackson.
Saul jumped to action, helping communicate with officers and deal with traffic as first-responders arrived on scene.
“I forgot my bike had been stolen because I was dealing with stuff, more important stuff,” Saul said.
The scene cleared and Saul remembered why he had called 911 in the first place: his missing bike.
“Tears rolled down my eyes and I said it out loud, I’m done with this side of town. I asked God if he wanted me here and he said the people here need me to be here because there’s not a lot of people here like me helping this community,” Saul said.
Two days later, Saul was picked up by his friend, Wichita PD Officer Steve Jerrell, who told him they were going to look for his bike.
Instead, Jerrell drove Saul to Bicycle X-Change in Delano. Owner Michael Scanga presented Saul with a new bike in his favorite color, red.
A video recorded by Bicycle X-Change shows Scanga telling Saul: “We’re gonna take good care of you, alright?”
Saul’s tears returned to his eyes, but this time out of gratitude and not despair.
“You deserve it, you’re a good guy,” Jerrell tells Saul in the video.
“The bike gives me the freedom to move around the city and a freedom that got taken away but then people in my community gave me back that freedom to go places to help people,” Saul said.
Watch for this story on Kansas Today on Friday morning.