Sweet Ride

Bullied Gay College Student Gets Vandalized Car — And His Faith — Restored

Radford University student Jordan Addison’s 1999 Volkswagon had been the victim of vandalism on four separate occasions thanks to some callous co-eds bashing in his windows and keying “die fag” into his car doors. Unable to afford the necessary repairs, Addison drove around in his whipped whip for four months, trying unsuccessfully to hide the gay slurs with spray paint and replacing his slashed tires with several mismatched pairs.

But then Addison’s guardian angel appeared in the form of Roanoke’s Quality Paint and Body manager Richard Henegar, Jr. After a friend who worked at Radford told Henegar about the kid rolling around in the gay-hate mobile, the auto body man gathered support from 10 other local businesses to give Addison a surprise of Pimp My Ride-proportions.

“We don’t take kindly to discrimination of any sort here. I was bullied in high school and a little bit in the service and I saw an opportunity to help somebody out,” Henegar told the Daily News. “As soon as I saw his car, I said, ‘We’re gonna fix this, it’s the least we can do.’”

Addison thought that Henegar was simply going to replace his door and was no doubt relieved to tool around in a small, red Fiat courtesy of an Enterprise car rental agency during the two weeks the car was being repaired. Meanwhile, Henegar and some volunteers spent 100 hours and over $10,000 restoring Addison’s bashed-up V-Dub, adding scratch-resistant paint, new tires, tinted windows, a new stereo and even a new security system.

Then, on Monday, Henegar  invited Addison back to take a look at his handiwork.

“I was entirely speechless. I just walked around saying, ‘Oh, my God, this is not my car,’”  the aspiring PhD student gushed to the Daily News. “It just restored my faith, my good faith, in people.”

And now that both his car and his faith in humanity have been restored, Addison is taking steps to preserve at least one of them, renting a spot in a gated parking lot with camera surveillance for when he returns to campus — which just happens to be today. So here’s hoping that Jordan has a smooth ride from here on out.