BRANDON — A 6-year-old boy got his $10,000 wheelchair back after a misunderstanding resulted in the chair being taken and then reported stolen, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident started about 7:20 a.m., deputies said, when the boy’s father placed the wheelchair on the driveway by the street to indicate that the school bus needs to pick him up. The bus usually arrives at 7:30 a.m., and the father carries his son out to the chair to board the bus.
But when the bus arrived Monday, deputies said, it was gone.
The Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that the chair had been returned by an unidentified man who admitted taking it by mistake.
The man said he thought it had been placed in the roadway as garbage. He told deputies he took it because he collects used medical equipment, refurbishes it and donates it to hospitals. He said he intended to clean the wheelchair and donate it to All Children’s Hospital or Metropolitan Ministries.
When the man learned the chair was reported missing, deputies said, he called the father and apologized. The boy’s family was satisfied with the return of the chair, deputies said, and no charges will be filed. That is also why the Sheriff’s Office declined to identify him. The identity of the family was also not released.