St. Paul theft victim gets a gift: another scooter

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 4, 2012 - 7:35 PM

Schwebel Goetz & Sieben donating vehicle to replace stolen one.

A Minneapolis law firm is donating an electric scooter to replace one stolen from a St. Paul man who can't walk because of complications from a brain tumor.

Schwebel Goetz & Sieben reached out to George Hensley and his girlfriend, Heidi Johnson, after reading about the theft in the newspaper.

The firm is paying for a used scooter that will be picked up Friday evening.

"It's tragic that it happened to him," said Jim Schwebel, founder of the personal injury law firm. "If we can do a small thing and turn it around in a day, we're happy to do it."

There were no arrests in the case as of Thursday.

Hensley, 45, relied on the scooter to get around because a brain tumor and a bout of pneumonia have left him unable to walk long distances.

Hensley and Johnson were running errands Tuesday when his scooter was stolen between 1:30 and 3 p.m. from the 700 block of Curfew Street in St. Paul's Midway district.

It was parked on the boulevard because the approximately 300-pound machine could not be hauled into the couple's upstairs apartment.

The scooter was donated this spring by Hensley's hospice nurse and her father. Johnson said the couple could not afford to replace the $1,700 machine.

Hensley underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment last year and was told that he only had six weeks to live. He defied the odds, but his prognosis is unclear.

He used the scooter to travel on his own to a nearby convenience store and coffee shop. He also used it to walk his dog with Johnson.

Schwebel said his firm assists citizens in need on a case-by-case basis. Offering such help is in line with the firm's work with clients who have suffered bodily injury, he said, and a special budget is set aside for such aid.

A number of good Samaritans and local medical device companies also offered help and equipment after hearing Hensley's story.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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