Last month, pizza delivery man Stephen Walker was attacked in an Evanston neighborhood while on the job. Two men knocked him to the ground and stole his money and car. Omar Gutiérrez, who lived in the building Walker was delivering to, witnessed the incident and called 911.
While talking at the police station, Gutiérrez realized just how much 47-year-old Walker depended on his car for his job and wanted to help the deliveryman in some way.
Gutiérrez put together a website to collect donations from the community to replace the victim's car. Local neighbors raised over $1,700. But when local media broke the story to a broader audience, more donations came rolling in, totaling over $12,500. Papa John's International, Inc., whose pizzas Walker had delivered for 16 years, donated $3,500 to the cause.
On Wednesday, Walker and the generous neighbors were reunited when they attended the arraignment hearing for the two men accused of the attack.
Walker arrived to the Skokie courthouse in his new 2009 Kia Spectra.
"I feel pretty good," Walker told the Tribune. He was able to return to work two weeks ago.
Walker did not have to attend the suspects' hearing, but he wanted to show his appreciation for all those in the community that supported him.
Carletus Jackson, 22, and Christopher Norton, 21, pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular hijacking and robbery.
Matt Bartosik is the editor of Off the Rocks' next issue and a "between blogs" blogger.