War Hero's Wheelchair Taken from Long Island Home - NBC New York

War Hero's Wheelchair Taken from Long Island Home

It was decorated with an embroidered Purple Heart.



    War Hero's Wheelchair Taken from Long Island Home

    The wheelchair used by an Iraq War veteran who lost both his legs in combat was taken from in front of his Long Island home. 

    The specially designed chair, worth several thousand dollars, may have been stolen, according to Suffolk County police.

    "If it was done maliciously, I feel bad for you," said decorated Army Cpl. Chris Levi.  "Who is going to think you're cool stealing a wheelchair?"

    Levi, 28, left the wheelchair on his front lawn on Wednesday. It was a routine he often followed, Levi's dad said. The vet would wheel to the curb and then jump into his car, leaving the chair for when he returned. 

    But when he got back after running some errands, the chair was gone.

    "My mother and father went up and down the street looking and couldn't find it," Levi said.

    Levi has relied on that chair since losing his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq in March 2008. He was later awarded a Purple Heart.

    Before his tour of duty in Iraq, Levi had also served in Afghanistan.

    Levi's loss has resulted in an outpouring of support. Elected officials, private companies and others have offered Levi a new wheelchair, but Levi wants his original chair back. It was decorated with an embroidered Purple Heart, something his mom urged him to display.

    "To take a combat soldier's wheelchair, when it's decorated with a Purple Heart, knowing that this is a person who served our country, is about as low as you can really stoop," said Levi's father, Eric.

    Police have checked with scrap metal dealers to see if anyone tried to sell the chair, but have no leads. It's possible, they say, the chair was taken in error by someone who thought it was being thrown out.

    "Our concern is to get this wheelchair back to this war hero, so anybody with information, please contact the police department," said Suffolk County Police Detective Lt. Edward Reilly.