NewsChannel 3 viewer takes action for man who lost bike on I-264

Posted at 6:26 PM, Apr 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-15 18:45:50-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Tony Jones says he was shocked by the response he received after calling VDOT to report that his bike fell off the back of his truck on Interstate 264. Now the response from a NewsChannel 3 viewer wanting to take action has him shocked all over again.

" I am calling to regret, uh to inform you that regretfully our drivers did see that bike being picked up by another motorist and they threw it in the back of their vehicle and left. So your bicycle is now owned by someone else.  I apologize for your loss.  Have a good day."

"They were trying to be helpful but not as much tact one would hope," says Jones.

VDOT says it was in fact a contractor who left the message on Jones' cell phone Friday night.

But the contractor didn't follow procedure, according to VDOT. He should have contacted VDOT's customer service line when Jones reported the problem.

But what about the crews letting someone else take the bike?

VDOT leaders say their crews don't have the authority to stop other drivers.

When we spoke to State Police about the incident, they say Jones could have received a ticket for not securing the bike to the truck. They also say the person who picked up the bike near Mount Trashmore could have also received a ticket for stopping on the interstate.

Jones says he didn't realize the bike fell off the truck until he got home.

After losing his job, he says it's an inexpensive way for him and his 7-year-old daughter to have fun together.

Beau James Stephenson saw the NewsChannel 3 story about Tony Jones on Facebook and wanted to take action and help.

The two are strangers, but NewsChannel 3 introduced them Wednesday afternoon.

Stephenson knocked on Jones' front door. The two men shook hands and Jones got a new bike.

At first, he said he was going to go to his storage unit and give Jones his old bike, but then realized the bike was packed away in the storage unit so he decided to buy a bike at Target for Jones.

Jones said he did not want anyone to buy him a new bike, however he truly appreciates it.

Stephenson was not looking for any attention, but said the story reminded him of quality time he would spend with his own father who lives in Ohio.

Stephenson said just recently his father visited him in Virginia Beach and planned a surprise for his son.

Stephenson said he thought he was going to do an estimate for a job, but when he arrived realized his father was there with a new pistol for him.

He said he appreciates Jones spending quality time with his daughter and wanted to help him out.

Jones said this time he has learned his lesson and will make sure the bike is secure on his bike rack before driving on the highway.

He said his daughter will be delighted with the new bike.