Blind Student Offers Help, Gets Robbed
By Addison Speck, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A nice gesture left a Kirkwood student, who can’t see, without a cell phone and a laptop. Patrick Dunfee said after he tried to help a man at his apartment complex, he got robbed.
Dunfee lives in a complex just off Kirkwood Boulevard Southwest. He said it happened early Sunday morning after he got up to let his dog, York, outside. "I heard a kid on the sidewalk walking back and forth and I asked him what was going on and he said I am locked out," Dunfee said.
After a short conversation, Dunfee said he asked the man if he wanted to borrow his phone. The man said yes and they both went inside Dunfee's apartment. Dunfee said the man used the bathroom, turned on his stereo, and even looked out the window before he took off with his cell phone, laptop, and both of their chargers. "I think he saw that I had a disability and he wanted to take advantage of it," Dunfee said.
He told TV9 that when he heard the blinds move, he asked the man what he was looking for and the man told Dunfee he was checking to see if his roommate was outside.
Jerad Nylin is a friend of Dunfee's and was furious when he heard the news. "I have a visual impairment myself and to take from somebody who can't see anything at all is disappointing," said Nylin. He said Dunfee was just being the nice person that he always is. "I don't know how someone could do something like this to him," he added.
Nylin showed us JAWS on Friday, an 11 hundred dollar program that helps visually impaired people use computers. It's a program that Dunfee no longer has.
The past week he's had to find alternative ways to keep up with classwork. "Recently, my teachers have been reading my stuff to me. I'm pretty sure that gets annoying for them and I like to do it myself if I can," said Dunfee.
He filed a police report the same day of the incident. He's confident that if he ever heard the man's voice again, he would recognize it.
Dunfee knows he may never get his belongings back, he said he is thankful only two of his three most prized possessions were taken. His dog York, being the third.
Dunfee said his parents bought him a new cell phone and he might be able to get a loaner computer, but it's still a situation he never thought he would be in just for offering some help.
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