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Helpful citizen earns award for tire change

Derek Linville’s tire changing skills and helpful attitude earned him an award. Photo by Lance Farrell. (click for larger version)
May 23, 2012 - Derek Linville, of Lake Orion, was honored by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department for the good citizenship he exhibited last summer.

In July 2011, Linville, a 2005 graduate of Lake Orion High School, was on lunch break with friends at Jimmy John's in Oxford.

While finishing his sandwich, Linville noticed a police cruiser in the parking lot and observed a kid who appeared to just be sitting in the middle of the parking lot with a flat tire blocking an access aisle.

According to Linville, the kid was apparently "panicking, freaking out, and shaking . . . (and didn't) know what he was doing." While Linville watched, he saw one of the obstructed patrons go around the disabled vehicle, smashing the kid's hubcap in the process.

Without being asked, Linville procured a jack out of his car and began to lift the damaged vehicle.

"I just ended up doing it," Linville said.

But why do it?

Linville said the "kid didn't know how to change a tire, which is second nature to me. I just figured that the kid needed help. It was nothing to me."

The youngster was thankful for the assistance, and offered to compensate Linville. Linville turned down the pay, because "it was all he had. I told him to put it towards a new tire, put a new hub cap on it. He needed it more than I did."

For his trouble, Linville, who works for Oakwood Turf Management out of Lake Orion, received a certificate honoring his good citizenship. He also receives the gratitude of fellow citizens who appreciate knowing that neighbors in 2012 still help others in need.

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