CONWAY, Ark. (KARK) – As a disabled veteran was sleeping in his Conway motel room, someone set fire to his only form of transportation.
Tom Cozad uses a lawnmower to get around town, that is until the fire happened. Now, the community is coming together to raise money and buy him a new one.
As you drive into downtown Conway, you’ve probably come across Tom Cozad or “Wheelchair Pop” sitting on his bright red lawnmower.
“He’s just a friendly face. Everybody knows where he’s always going to be and they look forward to seeing him,” Conway resident Autumn Keener said.
That lawnmower is his way around town and his way to make money.
“I call it no legs mowing,” Cozad said.
He also uses one of his only belongings to help others.
“I just help people. I have no family so I just take care of whoever comes down the ramp,” Cozad said.
“People that have broken down in the middle of the intersection he’s pushed them with his lawnmower,” Conway resident George Keener said.
Now, those wheels are gone. As “Wheelchair Pop” was leaving his motel room early in the morning, he found his lawnmower up in flames.
“Very scary. I had people upstairs throwing water down on it and the lady next door she and her friend grabbed buckets out of the tub,” Cozad said.
It couldn’t be saved and now he is back in a wheelchair trying to navigate the city sidewalks.
“It takes five hours to go to Walmart in a wheelchair and it takes an hour just to go up to Walgreens,” Cozad said.
While most in his situation would give up hope, that’s not “Wheelchair Pop.”
“It’s material things. The thing is I’m still me, I’ll still help people. I’ll still do what I can,” Cozad said.
If you would like to help “Wheelchair Pop” get a new lawn mower you can donate HERE