LEWISTON — While police in Lewiston investigate the theft of an elderly man's motorized wheelchair, the octogenarian's family are appealing to the public to return their father's sole mode of transportation.
Dana Huard, 80, of Lewiston reported early Sunday morning that his electric wheelchair was stolen from in front of his apartment building on Lowell Street. Lewiston police Sgt. Michael Whalen said Huard reported the motorized chair stolen at 3:45 a.m.
The case remained under investigation Wednesday as authorities continued looking for the chair. The electric wheelchair is a Pride Mobility TSS300 Power Chair that cost Huard several thousand dollars. Family said he purchased it in the past year.
Huard spent the last two nights at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston. Family said he was admitted to the hospital after having to walk there for issues with water retention.
"He's just pretty much doing his best to get around day by day," said Huard's daughter, Wendy Deemer, 46. "So taking his scooter is like taking his legs out from under him."
Deemer, who lives in Sabattus, said her father depended solely on the electric wheelchair for transportation after losing his license due to degenerating eyesight and issues with dementia. She said only she and her brother, Joseph Huard, 43, of Auburn, live locally. Four other siblings live out of state, so helping care for their elderly father often falls on she and her brother, who doesn't own a car.
Joseph Huard said another brother was visiting from Massachusetts on Saturday night and was with his father at the time of the theft. Dana Huard said from his hospital bed Tuesday that he awoke sometime after 2 a.m. and decided to go outside for some fresh air and discovered the theft.
"They stole it right from under my bedroom window," Huard said. "And with all the people around there. I don't know. I can't get nowhere now. I'm sitting here with nothing but a broken walker."