UPDATE: On Friday May 20th the Muscatine Police Department made an arrest in this case. Stay tuned to www.voiceofmuscatine.com for updates as they are made available.
Alex Pobuda had a Friday the 13th he would just as soon forget. The young man was riding his bike on to Kum & Go and was struck by a copper colored PT Cruiser. The driver sped off leaving him with a broken hand and a concussion. With his bike was broken, and he walked home in the rain. His mother Angela Stevens said, “I told him when he left that he was probably going to get wet. When he came home he was soaked and I started to laugh. He said “it’s not funny mom, I got hit by a car.”
The family quickly rushed to the emergency room.
Alex relies greatly on his bike. “Being Autistic, he’s never going to drive so his bike is how he gets around,” said Stevens. Alex’s bike was a pink bike and from a thrift shop, his neighbor had agreed to help him paint in upcoming weeks because he was worried he would be teased about the color. While it wasn’t a perfect bike, it was his, and it was devastating when it was rendered un-rideable. The family set up a Go Fund Me account to raise money to purchase a new bike and to help pay for medical bills.
Upon hearing of this story, Kevin and Margaret Whitgrove, owners of Diamonds on the Avenue in the Quad Cities, decided to get involved. “Margaret and I grew up in large families, and we didn’t have much,” said Kevin Whitgrove. “My bike was a hand me down, and while it wasn’t much it was still mine. When we heard about this, it hit us in the gut. We knew we had to get involved.” The Whitgrove’s, worked with their friend and Muscatine resident Anthony Loconsole to organize with Alex’s mother a plan to surprise him with a new bike from Harper’s Cycling and Fitness in Muscatine. “I told Alex we had to go to Fruitland to pick up some pots I was going to buy. I told him along the way we could go look at bikes,” Stevens said. When Alex walked in the store, he realized that this was a special trip for him.
Slightly embarrassed but smiling, he began the fitting process with Greg Harper. Harper tried out a few bikes until they found the perfect fit. A black and silver Trek bicycle with trigger shifters and hand brakes and a new black bicycle helmet.
Alex said “I’m excited, thank you.”
Stevens added, “The generosity of the community has been amazing, his bike was from a thrift shop, and now he has a bike that he has always wanted.” The family has successfully raised some money through the gofundme campaign. Now they can use this money for medical bills.