After an east side woman’s bike was stolen, officers got her a new one

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Nicki Cotoia relies on her bicycle for transportation, but after that bike was stolen, she had no way to get around town.

But the east side woman can thank a pair of officers for helping her get a new ride.

If you head to the east side, chances are you’ll find officers Stacy Riojas and Roman Williams-Ervin.

“I love the east side,” Williams-Ervin said. “The east side is where I wanted to work when I graduated the academy, and I’ve been out here for 13 years.”

On most days, you’ll find the duo on their bikes, riding the streets they’ve patrolled together for more than a decade, with one goal in mind.

“A lot of that community policing is making connections and breaking down walls and just connecting and humanizing the badge,” Williams-Ervin said.

Recently, the officers heard Nicki’s bike–her only mode of transportation–was stolen.

“We started thinking, we put our heads together, and we really couldn’t come up with any outside resources,” Williams-Ervin said.

Instead of looking outside for help, the two decided to look inside their own garages.

“Stacy decided that she had an extra bike in her garage that she wasn’t using,” Williams-Ervin said. “She said, ‘I got this extra bike maybe we can use that.’”

This week, the officers loaded the bike up in their car and made a surprise visit to see Nicki.

“This bike is a nice bike,” Cotoia said. “I’ve never seen this happen. This is the first time I have ever seen this happen and it’s happening to me.”

For the officers, it’s the simple one-time gestures that help create lifelong relationships.

“She seemed very happy,” Williams-Ervin said. “And that makes us happy as well.”

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