image-bike gift
Half Moon Bay High School student Michael Minasi was gifted a bicycle from the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Activities League last Friday. Kyle Ludowitz / Review

When 15-year-old Michael Minasi’s bicycle was stolen in October near a local skate park, he didn’t report it to law enforcement. A couple of days later, Minasi saw his bicycle being ridden by the person who reportedly took it from him.

After a confrontation, Minasi decided to allow the other kid to keep it, saying “he probably needed it more than me.” 

Deputies Greg Chong and Anthony Cousenes of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Activities League heard about this act of kindness and wanted to do something nice in return. They decided to find and recover an unclaimed used bike and give it to Minasi. They found one and dropped it off at Sgt. Matt Ken’s house to be refurbished. 

“I am a former bike mechanic and so I rebuilt it,” Ken said. 

On Dec. 13, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office deputies surprised Minasi with the repurposed red bicycle to reward him for his own selfless act. 

“Just the fact that this kid said he realized that it was not this other kid’s fault for wanting something he had. … What he did was very noble and honorable,” Ken said. 

Minasi was excused from his class at Half Moon Bay High School at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday and led to the front office where administrative staff and Chong, Cousenes and Ken were waiting with the bicycle. Minasi’s face beamed with a smile when it was presented to him. 

Still in awe of receiving a new bicycle, Minasi uttered a simple “thank you” to the deputies. 

He hopped on the bicycle and took it for a short test drive on the school’s campus, even popping a “wheelie.” Chong explained to him that the bicycle had a serial code attached to it, so, should it ever be stolen again, law enforcement can assist in tracking it. 

“This situation could have gone another way, so we wanted to acknowledge what he did,” Ken said. 

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