Garbage collectors mistake motorcycle for trash


"I had my motorcycle cover covering it, but the wheel was still showing on the bike. And the mirrors were sticking up from the bike, also. So you could tell it was a motorcycle," Joseph said.

Over two weeks ago, Joseph's girlfriend, April Wilson, was leaving their Roanoke Rapids home when she noticed the bike was missing.

"I was coming out to go somewhere and I happened to look at the curb and I was like, 'Something's missing.' I stopped and I paused and I'm like, 'The motorcycle-where is it at?' So I come down here to the curb, and I find where the mirror was broken off," April said.

April asked her neighbors if they saw anything, and they told her that the city's garbage collectors took the motorcycle.

After some phone calls and many conversations, Joseph learned that a crew with the City of Roanoke Rapids Waste Services did, in fact, pick up his sports bike thinking it was garbage.

"He said when he picked it up, it was so heavy, he thought it was a couch," Joseph said.

That explanation didn't make sense to April because she said the motorcycle sat in the same place in front of their home for weeks.

"Every Thursday they come out here. So for the last two months, the eight Thursdays that they've been out here, it was parked in the same spot," April said.

Once Joseph made a trip to Waste Services, he was able to see the bad news for himself -- his bike had been crushed.

"I just looked at it and shook my head and just walked away. I just couldn't believe it, that it was my bike torn all to pieces like that," Joseph said.

Joseph wanted the city to take responsibility and pay for his loss, but he said the city wanted him to turn it into his insurance instead.

"I don't feel like it's my insurance's responsibility to take care of something that the city was liable to do. It's going to cost my insurance to jump," Joseph said.

With no resolution, Joseph got in touch with me. I reached out to the City of Roanoke Rapids, and the city manager said he has been off for the week and just learned about the incident. He said the insurance company for the city was involved and he would keep me updated.

Joseph recently heard from a rep with the city's insurance company who told him they were taking care of the claim. He expects to find out the settlement offer this week.

The city manager apologized and said this is an unfortunate incident that he hopes never happens again.

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