New Smyrna restaurant rallies around chef with epilepsy after bicycle theft

Touch of Italy co-workers plan to help replace Alex Moore's bicycle

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A restaurant is rallying around one of its employees after a thief stole his bike on Friday night.

 Alex Moore, 36, is a chef at Touch of Italy restaurant, and he solely relies on his bike to get around town. Moore has epilepsy and suffers from severe seizures.

"That pretty much canceled out any chance of me ever driving or getting a car," Moore said of his condition.

When Moore couldn't find his bike after work, he turned to the restaurant's surveillance video.

The video showed a man pick up Moore's bike while walking with another.

"Just to lose it like that was sort of a punch in the teeth," Moore said. "I couldn't even begin to expect what I saw."

The employees later learned that the man stole Moore's bike and ditched his own, on which the bike seat was missing, somewhere behind the shopping center.

"I understand that other people have problems but, at the same time, if you catch a flat tire or you run out of gas, you go to a mechanic. You don't go to a parking lot and steal a car. Why would you do that with a bicycle?" he said. 

Moore's co-workers shared a video on Facebook, hoping to warn others and gain the community's support.   

"He works really hard. He comes in every day and he's a good chef. He puts in his time and he has a disability and he's putting out a good effort to come out and work and not let it defeat him," restaurant owner Kenneth Shaw said. 

The business is working to replace Moore's bike and, in the meantime, helping him get to and from work.

"We already have him a loaner, so we're working on getting him a new bike. We have a lot of volunteers who are willing to help, so it's heartwarming," Shaw said. "And Alex has seen that and said that it brought him to tears." 

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