Village walker has cerebral palsy


I am writing this letter due to an incident which involved my son, David, who was walking up the street to the store. On his way home he was stopped by a policeman. He was asked questions and finally the officer called me. He was very nice and said that someone had called in to report a man stumbling down the street and he was sent to investigate the situation. After a few questions, David was allowed to continue on his way home.

When talking with David, he said he had fallen once due to an uneven sidewalk he was crossing. He had then proceeded to the store, coming halfway back before being stopped by the officer. If the person calling in the report called because of the fall and thought that he might have been hurt, I am thankful for your concern.

I feel, however, the person calling felt that David was either drunk or on drugs. This has happened before to David, even at the fairgrounds when people complained because he was near children (his nieces and nephews). David has cerebral palsy and his walk is awkward and his speech is sometimes hard to understand. He falls often and if many of you fell as often as he does, you would probably stay down. He is very independent and keeps going and helping others.

We have lived here since 1978 He went to school here and at Lawnview. Many people in town recognize him and speak to him and he has a great sense of humor. During the week he goes to a center in Urbana. He may help with Meals on Wheels deliveries and other projects.

Please consider that all people who have difficulty walking are not on drugs or drunk. It is very embarrassing for him to be stopped and questioned. If you think he may need help, simply stop, roll down your window and ask him. If he needs help, please call for it.

Thank you for reading this and please wave to David when you see him.

Margaret Baltes


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