Philadelphia police officer raises money for NJ teen with special needs

Tommy Benedit, 19, poses with his adaptive bicycle purchased by the law enforcement community.

Tommy Benedit, 19, poses with his adaptive bicycle purchased by the law enforcement community. (5/25/16)

MONMOUTH BEACH - A police officer from Philadelphia helped a Monmouth Beach teen with special needs get the adaptive bicycle that he was wishing to get.

Tommy Benedit, 19, has Angelman syndrome, a neurological disorder. His family entered the Great Bike Giveaway competition in an attempt to win the special bike, but did not win.

Philadelphia Officer Joe Demnisky heard about the teen’s plight and started a private GoFundMe account to raise the money needed for the bicycle. Officer Demnisky does not know the family.

Kelly Benedit, Tommy’s mother, says that she wants to thank the officer for helping her son.

“This means the world to us. We will be out every day and we will be riding our bike all through town,” she says.

The GoFundMe account was a private fundraiser within the law enforcement community. Hundreds of officers, dispatchers and emergency workers nationwide contributed.

They actually raised enough money for another special-needs child on Long Island to receive a bike too.

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