6-year-old boy's wheelchair returned after it was mistakenly taken from Brandon driveway

Posted at 10:14 AM, Apr 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 07:01:47-04

A six-year-old's wheelchair has been returned after his father said it was stolen from the front of their Brandon home Monday morning. 

The child's father Andrew Dennis says his son Ian's wheelchair was dropped off at about 5:45 p.m.

A man who lives in the neighborhood reportedly thought it was scrap metal on the side of the road, and told Ian's dad he was going to donate it because it was in such good condition.

He called the Sheriff's Office to tell them he had it and was going to return it.

Dennis tells ABC Action News his son Ian depends on the $10,000 custom made wheelchair, as his son has hydrocephalus, epilepsy and autism.

Dennis posted to social media early Monday asking for anyone to return the wheelchair with no questions asked.

"I feel violated," he said, "I feel hurt."

The TiLite wheelchair was partly donated by Shriners Hospital for Children and it has blue aluminum pieces as well as a custom headpiece. 

Dennis explained to us that he puts the wheelchair near the mailbox on Pinedale Street where the bus comes to pick up their son while he goes to carry him outside.

"Bus drivers have asked me to do this," he said, "it's more than reasonable for me to put it out there."

A backpack with a lunch inside, and the boy's glasses were sitting with the wheelchair when it was taken. 

Dennis was just asking for anyone to return it, no questions asked.

Before the wheelchair was returned, Dennis told ABC Action News that he was reaching out to Shriners for a loaner. Thankfully, now he won't have to get a loaner. 

Many residents of the Tampa Bay Area reached out to donate a new wheelchair, or funds.