The 16-year-old son of a New York City Police officer, who had always dreamed of driving a squad car like his father’s, was surprised on Wednesday with his very own custom set of wheels outfitted to maneuver around his wheelchair. Aidan Riley, who has cerebral palsy, even has his name and his father’s badge number on his car.
“He basically has a police cruiser,” David Vogel, of Magic Wheelchair, the organization that partnered with the NYPD to make Riley’s dream come true, told CBS New York.
Riley’s father, Meritt Riley, is a co-founder of the NYPD With Arms Wide Open Foundation, which is dedicated to helping families of officers who have children with special needs, according to the news outlet. The foundation has helped pay for medical equipment and treatment, but Riley was shocked when his own son was the recipient of Magic Wheelchair’s gift.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he told CBS New York. “You know, we always try to help people. So when somebody reaches out to help you, it’s not a comfortable feeling, but how do you say no to something like this? It’s not about me or the foundation, it’s about my son.”
The veteran officer said his son enjoys the simple things, “things you can’t really put a price tag on,” and called his car “perfect.” The NYPD shared a video of the surprise on Twitter, where it’s racked up 35,700 views, and over 1,800 likes. Also present was Riley's twin brother, and his mom.