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Spinning his wheels: Phoenix police reward teen with bike

PHOENIX — Most 18-year-olds wouldn’t walk a mile to work much less six miles each way but that’s exactly what Christian Felix was doing until a chance encounter with a Phoenix police officer.

Now, Felix is one easy rider Thursday after Phoenix police at the North Command Station presented him with a bicycle.

“Someone who doesn’t even know me just offers to do something extremely nice for me. I was just like, ‘Wow,’ ” Felix said.

Sgt. Natalie Simonik stopped Felix one night in March near 27th Avenue and Deer Valley Road in April for a possible curfew violation. She found out a a few things, chief among them: 1. at 18 the curfew law didn’t apply to him (juveniles under 16 cannot be out of their homes between 10 p.m.-5 a.m.); 2. the young man was on his way home from work, with a few miles to go, a walk he made regularly.

Simonik gave Felix a ride home. He didn’t own a bike or even know how to ride one. Simonik, who was impressed with Felix’s determination, jumped in to help.

“We brought him to the precinct and taught him how to ride a bicycle in the parking lot,” Simonik said.

Felix’s mother, Jessica Muniz, was flabbergasted.

“She cared about him and she didn’t even know him. That just touched me so much,” Muniz said of Simonik.