A former Air Force pararescue specialist, who now makes his home in Renton, is asking for the community’s help in locating two handcycles that were stolen November. 7
Ernie Butler, the Executive Director of the Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, discovered the missing handcycles earlier this month. Both were secured in this apartment’s parking garage.
The handcycles aren’t your average sporting equipment. Butler has used the handcycle to complete the 205-mile Seattle To Portland Bicycle Classic five times, and has also cycled the 150-mile Washington Bike MS Benefit Ride six times, according to a statement from the Renton Police Department.
The stolen tricycle was no ordinary three wheeler; it was a Top End “Force R” model, a bright red racing handcycle (seen in the photo, above).
The thieves also stole Butler’s second handcycle, a silver Freedom Ryder “lean steer” tricycle, whose rear axle can twist from side to side to allow the rider to maneuver.
Following his career as an Air Force pararescuer, Butler was a competitive skydiver until a 1995 mid-air accident left him paralyzed below the waist. If you have any information about the stolen handcycles, please contact the Renton Police Department at (425) 430-7529 reference case 12-12142.