Good Samaritan replaces autistic boy’s stolen bicycle in Maple Ridge, B.C.

Nadine Kalinauskas
A woman rides her bike at sunset on the beach front in Nice
A woman rides her bike at sunset on the beach front in Nice November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Last Tuesday afternoon, 12-year-old Nathan Antone parked his bicycle in front of Maple Ridge Library.

When Nathan and his younger sister exited the library 30 minutes later, the bike was gone.

"We saw that the bike wasn't at the bike lock thing and we assumed it was stolen," Nathan, who has autism, told CBC News. "I felt very upset."

"I blame myself for this loss," Nathan's mother, Kassandra Antone, told the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times. "I kept saying next payday I will get a lock...and unfortunately I didn't…"

Nathan was dependent on the bike, which he received three years ago for his ninth birthday, to get to and from school each day, shortening his 25-minute walk to just a 10-minute ride. He also used it daily to go to the library and get to his drop-in hockey games.

But because Nathan's mother is on a fixed income, she wasn't able to replace the boy's bike.

The theft made the local news.

Ryan Nicholson, a complete stranger to the Antone family, heard about Nathan's situation and decided to take action — and bought Nathan and new bike and bike lock.

"That's one of those things in life that sucks and I wanted to remedy it for the family," Nicholson said of his good deed.

"Somebody did something very nice for me and I am just paying it forward so to speak. I think if more people did nice things to even strangers, it would just make the world a better place."

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Nathan was thrilled with the gift.

"It's black and it looks really cool and I think it's going to be fast," he said.

Nicholson wasn't the only person to offer to buy Nathan a new bike.

"I am blown away. I’m really humbled that people want to help someone locally, when we – as a society – want to help the Philippines," Kassandra told the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Times.