LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — A lawnmower gifted to a 13-year-old Leavenworth boy after he was involved in a mowing accident was stolen Tuesday, along with other lawn equipment.
The orange, zero-turn mower belonged to Leeland Williams, whose left leg was amputated after the 2020 incident.
"I just stepped out at the perfect time to just get ran over," he said.
But that didn't scare Williams, and he wanted to continue to mow lawns – not only his parents', but other people's as well.
"It’s a hobby, so if you ever like something, you know you can always enjoy it," Williams said, "and they say if you enjoy it you’ll never work a day in your life."
Williams said he was shocked that the items were taken.
"It’s kind of confusing that it was stolen," Williams said. "I didn’t really think anyone would steal it."
The Leavenworth community came together last year to purchase the riding mower for Williams. Brittane Nauss, Williams' mother, said whoever stole the equipment had to have been someone who "took advantage of a situation."
"It filled me with rage, I’m not going to lie," Nauss said. "It made me so angry, like that’s my son’s stuff and here you are just riding it along. Like out of tragedy is how those things happened and got here, and he deserves them and you just took it."
A neighbor's Ring doorbell camera caught the man who rode off with the lawnmower.
"These people put up their hard-earned money that they went to work for to be able to afford this mower for me and people took it so I felt like I let them down maybe," said Williams.
Throughout the past year, Nauss said the outpouring of support from the community has been amazing.
"Like the community has already stepped up and they’ve all messaged me and they’ve texted me," she said.
It's a community on the look-out to find whoever did this. Nauss hopes the person will fess up.
"Do the right thing just return it, be honest about it," Nauss said.
The family set up a new GoFundMe page to help with expenses to buy a new lawnmower.
Anyone with information about who did this is urged to call Detective Cody Kear at 913-680-2506 or leave an anonymous tip at 913-682-CLUE.