[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake Legal News]
[Original Publish Date: 05/28/21]
EUSTIS, Florida — Dozens of children rode their bikes from Eustis Police Department with Chief Craig Capri and spent the afternoon with him and visited several vendors in downtown Eustis’ Ferran Park Thursday.
The “Bike Ride with the Eustis Police Chief,” started at EPD with about three dozen bike riders and the crowd of kids grew to nearly 50 in Ferran Park, visiting vendors, and hanging out with law enforcement officers from three agencies, including EPD, Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Fruitland Park Police Department.
“I consider it a huge success,’ Capri told Lake Legal News.
Capri, who has been chief less than two months, and his team put the event together quickly because he wanted to do something before the school year ended, he said. He stressed the value of engaging with community, especially the youth and plans on continuing this event annually. “I think it’s important,” he said.
Elementary-aged children met Capri at EPD with their bikes and the group traveled down Eustis Street to Magnolia Avenue and crossed over Bay Street while Cpl. L. Brown stopped traffic for their entrance into Ferran Park.
Capri had a wide smile and the boys and girls cheered as they entered the park with Capt. G. Winheim and his wife at the rear of the pack. The kids parked their bikes and went from tent to tent where they received goodies and information. Children had the opportunity to be properly fitted for a bicycle helmet by certified employees of LCSO and EPD. An eight-hour class taught by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is required for certification and the helmets are provided by an FDOT grant, EPD employee Lacee Ryan told LLN.
The kids enjoyed hot dogs grilled up by Eustis Fire Department and a cool treat from Jeremiah’s Italian Ice in Mount Dora. A representative from the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) had a baby alligator on hand, and that is the closest Bailey (who will turn 9 years old next month) has ever been to an alligator. Bailey, who is just about to finish third grade at Seminole Springs Elementary School, is a young entrepreneur and owns a cup business, Not Enough Cups. Last week she gifted Capri a cup and wanted to participate in Thursday’s event, “I really wanted to come,” she said.
United Southern Bank, The Early Learning Coalition of Lake County, Pure Cycle, Lakeside Dental and Eustis Parks & Recreation were also on hand giving out information and goodies.
Nine-year-old Devin, who was excited to wear his neon orange shorts to the bike ride, said his favorite part was riding his bike with the chief. Devin will be a fifth grader at Eustis Elementary School next year.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]