Barry Malloy remembers what it was like to have his bicycle messed with.
During a recent interview, the Wheat Ridge school resource officer recalled having his bike stolen during football practice when he was a teenager, several years ago.
“I never forgot that,” Malloy said.
And maybe that’s exactly what Malloy was thinking about when he lent a helping hand to a young boy whose bike was destroyed following a bullying incident from earlier this year.
“It really upsets me when people pick on others,” Malloy said. “I just really wanted to help him.”
Jacob Stangel was riding his bike through a Wheat Ridge park last spring, when two older kids accosted the 9-year-old boy and destroyed his bike in the process.
“It was pretty much destroyed,” said Doraine Sangel, Jacob’s mother. “He was really upset. And I was upset for him because there was just no need for it.”
Doraine Stangel, a single mother, could not afford the repairs.
That’s when Malloy and the folks at Wheat Ridge Cyclery stepped in to fix Jacob’s bike at no cost.
The altruistic act led to Wheat Ridge Cyclery president Ron Kiefel and his employees receiving the Wheat Ridge Citizen Award at an Aug. 12 Wheat Ridge City Council meeting.
“This gesture of generosity and caring has significantly touched this 9-year-old’s family,” Wheat Ridge Police Chief Dan Brennan said at the council meeting.
Kiefel said that his employees, like service manager Doug Bittle, deserve the credit, and not him.
“It was nice to do something for somebody in the community who had a bad break,” Bittle said.
Doraine Stangel didn’t want to pursue criminal charges, out of fear of retaliation. And Malloy didn’t think it was right for the bullies to get away with what they had done.
“I read them the riot act like it was nobody’s business,” Malloy said.
Malloy said he was going to pay for the repairs out of his own pocket. But Wheat Ridge Cyclery stepped in and fixed Jacob’s bike for nothing.
“Everyone went above and beyond to help Jacob,” Doraine Stangel said.
Now, the soft-spoken Jacob has a bike that works, and it’s because of the act of people in the community who cared enough to do something about it.
“If we can show a kid that people around him are willing to do the right thing, and to show him that there are others who can stand with him, maybe we’re on the right track,” Malloy said.