WASHINGTON – An 11-year-old Upper Marlboro boy who uses a wheelchair has stepped up to help another boy, whose own wheelchair was stolen this week.
Emmanuel Marshall, offered to give four-year-old Joshua of Langley Park an older wheelchair that would fit the smaller boy.
Police have not released the last name of the boy whose chair was stolen.
“Emmanuel felt it was a villain that would take someone’s chair,” his mother Nikisha Marshall told reporters at the Prince George’s County police headquarters Friday, as Emmanuel looked on, smiling. “He’s more than happy to share his chair.”
The younger boy’s wheelchair was stolen from the lobby of his family’s apartment building on Merrimac Drive Sunday night. The boy’s mother left the chair in the lobby while she carried her son upstairs to their apartment. When she returned for the chair Monday morning, it was gone, police say.
Marshall says she “shed a tear” when she learned of the stolen chair because Joshua’s family’s situation is so similar to her own.
“I guess it hurt a little more because her daily routine is the routine I used to use when I lived in an apartment on the second and third floor,” Marshall says of Joshua’s mother. “It takes away a bit of that freedom that they had. The one thing that I always want Emmanuel to understand is if he can do it himself, he should do it himself. And their wheelchairs are definitely a part of them doing something theirselves.”
Wheelchairs like the one that was stolen can cost $10,000 to $20,000, Marshall says.
A surveillance camera caught a man pushing the empty chair across a parking lot. Neither the man nor the chair have been found.
WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.