May 15th was a Monday not unlike any other. The school year was starting to wind down and the weather was nice.
Like most 10-year-old boys, Jeremiah Arellano didn’t want to spend it cooped up inside. Jeremiah had a lot of homework that night, but he came home from school and went right to work.
"Normally his curfew is 7 O'clock." said his mother, Daisy. "It took him a little longer, but I was so proud of how hard he worked I let him stay out a little while longer."
Jeremiah wasn't at the park long, only about half an hour, before he got back on his bike and started riding home. He was only a few blocks from home when he was struck by a car.
Jeremiah was thrown from his bike into a nearby parked car. He suffered a broken pelvic bone and severe road rash during the crash, but thankfully there were no head injuries.
After months of doctor’s appointments and rehab Jeremiah would be better than ever.
Jeremiah's bike, however, did not fare as well.
Lt. Joe Cacioppo met with Jeremiah and his mother several times after the crash. He was impressed with how positive Jeremiah remained during his recovery. "It was a pretty serious injury for a kid to deal with, but Jeremiah kept smiling and had such a positive attitude throughout his recovery." Said Cacioppo. "Knowing that he wanted to ride a bicycle again soon, I thought we may be able to do something to help."
Cacioppo reached out to Officers Jim Schulhafer and John Vasquez, all avid cyclists, and ride for Team Linden in the annual Police Unity Tour and Wal-Mart of Linden partner to help do something special for Jeremiah.
"We are fortunate to have generous partners like Wal-Mart that truly care for our community." said Cacioppo.
Jeremiah was recently cleared by his doctor to begin riding a bicycle again. He and his family came out to the Linden Police Department's Community Night Out, where Jeremiah was presented with a new bicycle and helmet.
"Community is about coming together to do good for our neighbors. This event is about the great things we can accomplish working together as a community, and we couldn't think of any better setting to do this for Jeremiah." said Cacioppo.
Police wish Jeremiah the best of luck in the future and hope he enjoys his new bicycle!