Above and beyond

After learning a young boy’s bike had been stolen, a Seymour police officer decided to do more than just investigate the theft.

On the evening of April 29, a child’s bicycle and pull-behind trailer were stolen from a residence on the southwest side of Seymour.

The items belonged to a family whose 4-year-old son has autism and rode the bike daily, providing him with physical activity and helping to stabilize his mood. He also was able to pull his 2-year-old brother along in the trailer.

The boys’ mother, Samantha Tredway, said her oldest son, Atticus, and his little brother, Vincent, were upset and didn’t understand why they couldn’t ride their “bike train” to the park anymore. She also said as a single mother she couldn’t afford to replace the stolen items.

In working the case, Officer Mike Payne went above and beyond the job, realizing he should do something to help the family.

After taking the complaint and making the report, he made contact with Donald M. Winn Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 108 and Walmart Supercenter, both in Seymour.

The FOP contributed to the cost of replacing the bike and trailer.

“We had an FOP meeting at the beginning of the year and the members asked how we could help some of the kids we see when we respond to calls,” said FOP President C.J. Foster. “Like if a kid needs a coat or shoes. We kind of voted to leave it open so we could do more to help out in special situations.”

Although the local FOP puts most of its funds toward the Cops and Kids Christmas program, Foster said it doesn’t have to be Christmas to help someone out.

“Let’s make Cops and Kids year-round,” he said. “That’s kind of what we are trying to do.”

Payne visited Tredway and her boys at their home the very next day to present the gifts.

Tredway said the action brought her to tears.

“I can’t believe how much everyone cared to help my sons and I out,” she said. “I’m incredibly thankful for my community and the wonderful officers at the Seymour Police Department. They made my son’s night by going beyond their duties to give us something that means a lot to our family.”

Other officers involved were Devlin McMindes, Benjamin Miller, Jim Handley and Cpl. Devin Cornwell.

Anyone with information that could lead to the location of the stolen items or apprehension of the person or persons who took them should call Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234.

How to help

If you have information about call Seymour Police Department at 812-522-1234 or if you would like to support FOP’s Cops and Kids program, call Detective Sgt. C.J. Foster at the same number.

January Rutherford is a reporter for The (Seymour) Tribune. She can be reached at jrutherford@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.