I am... aggravated? Angry? Annoyed? Pick a word and I’m sure it will fit. I’m also heartbroken for my son.

My boy is 14, has his learner’s permit, and has worked exceedingly hard over the past couple of years to be able to purchase his scooter - a black, 2007, Lamberetta Uno 50. He haggled for it with the previous owner, did the paperwork, bought the insurance, and looked after the registration, all on his own. My wife and I have no financial stake in this. He did it all himself

He’s been driving it to school - the only kid in middle school with their own ride. He was given a parking spot by the school’s secretary so he had a safe place to park it.

This little, black piece-of-freedom-machine is his pride and joy.

And today, at school, someone screwed around with it.

The best we can figure - based on a mechanic friend looking at it - is that someone was fooling around with it, dropped it on its side and jammed up the throttle. Then, they placed it back on its wheels to cover their tracks, and didn’t report it. We also know that he didn’t do it himself as his afternoon teachers came to take a look and volunteered that he was in class all afternoon.

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When he fired it up to go home, the throttle was jammed open and it raced off, away from him. Fortunately he wasn’t on it and wasn’t hurt. Unfortunately it bounced off the steel beam it had been locked to and then fell over. All the plastic on the right side is either cracked or outright broken, the front fairing is broken, the crankcase breather was torn off, the left-side controls are broken and the mounting screws are sheared, and it may have a severed oil line.

His newly-found freedom has been taken away by the carelessness of another person. More to the point, something he worked really hard for is now severely damaged; through no fault of his own.

The mechanics are an easy fix. The throttle housing bolts will take a while to replace. I have no idea where we’re going to find the replacement body panels for an eight-year-old, Italian scooter.

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My boy is crushed. This kid works so hard to help people and to make the world a better place, that this has rocked his faith in people. Seriously. It breaks your heart. Especially today; a day that started on a high with the planting of his Urban Fruit Forest project on the school grounds. He just wants to help people, and this is what he gets in return.