All he did was return a “Hello” from a woman in a pickup truck Monday night outside a convenience store on St. Simons Island, the youngster told police.
For that courtesy, a man wearing his black hat backwards drove the pickup truck across a curb, plowed over the 14-year-old boy’s bicycle and rambled away on the dirt alley behind the store, according to reports.
The incident at the Island Express at 2014 Demere Road was no accident, but a malicious attempt to destroy his bicycle, the boy said.
Glynn County police are inclined to agree. And the man’s actions may earn him criminal trespass and vandalism charges when police catch him.
Police captured a photo of the blue Ford F-150 in question on the convenience store’s security surveillance video.
After posting the photo on the county police department’s Facebook page with a request for information, police said Tuesday they were able to identify the suspect. But there is no indication that an arrest has been made.
The youngster’s mom said she was shocked when her son called shortly after 10 p.m. Monday to say a man in a pickup had just barreled over his bicycle.
The teen had been working out with friends at Anytime Fitness and they made their regular stop at Island Express to grab a bottle of water for the pedal home, his mother said.
“We were so startled,” she said of the call. “It’s scary what happened.”
The youngsters parked their bikes on the side of Island Express, across from a raised concrete curb that separates storefront parking from the nameless dirt alley that runs behind the store.
As they were walking inside, a woman in the truck said “hello,” according to the police report. They said “hello” back to her.
Then the man returned from the store to the new model truck, standing about 5-foot-6 and weighing around 130 pounds, police said. He wore a T-shirt, shorts and a “black hat on backwards” over blond hair.
The boy told police “there was no type of argument or words said to the driver” of the truck.
According to police, “the driver then drove over the sidewalk, over the bicycle and left the scene.”
The bike’s frame held up pretty well, but the seat, front wheel, a pedal and the sprocket were crushed. Police estimated that damage at $300.
The teen’s mother thinks she will be shopping for a new bicycle for her son, who has about 14 months to go before he is eligible for a driver’s license.
“He told me, ‘Mom, he didn’t say anything, he didn’t even look at me,’” his mom said. “He just got in the truck, went straight over the sidewalk and went completely over his bike. They just stood there. They couldn’t believe it.”
Police are searching for the man.