VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Skateboarding is not just a street sport, it’s a way of life, a culture and it’s a big part of 14-year-old Bricen Romeo’s life.
Last week, his life took an unexpected turn. He was mugged outside a Dollar Tree in Virginia Beach.
A pair of thieves punched him in the face and took his skateboard, which he bought himself with money he made from a grass cutting business he started two years ago.
His parents set up a GoFundMe page to help Bricen raise $130, enough to buy a new deck.
The response was overwhelming.
“The support coming from Instagram, Snapchat, everywhere it's just awesome," Bricen said.
His parents, so grateful, decided to hold a pizza party at the skate park at Wave Riding Vehicles in Virginia Beach to thank all of Bricen’s supporters who raised $430.
“I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and sent best wishes and prayers my way," he said. “This whole experience started with something terrible and negative and for me and all of you have been able to turn in to something positive.”
Bricen's mom, Nicole, says that instead of spending all the money on himself, he paid it forward.
“He decided to buy a whole set of grips, tape, deck and trucks wheels, everything to give away to a younger kid who has a really crappy skate deck,” she said.
One person in particular, a fellow skater, Ryan Fuller, who happens to work at Wave Riding Vehicles wanted to help too.
“This is from me and the rest of the family at WRV. It’s a gift card for you if you want to get a skateboard, or some clothes to go back to school," Fuller said.
"That’s awesome thank you bro!” Bricen said. A big hug followed.
The corporate office from Wave Riding Vehicles also came through with an additional gift card for Bricen, a total of $150 from WRV.
Little did Ryan know, News 3 had a surprise for him for his generosity. He received a People Taking Action award and a $300 gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.
“I’d like for everyone to jump on this wave of positivity and ride it with me, pun intended. Thanks so much, you all are awesome--now let’s skate!” Bricen said.