Vandal Torches one thousand nine hundred seventy Ford Mustang Mach one Wielded by Disabled Child
Nothing in the world matters more to seven-year-old Nino Welcome than his bright orange one thousand nine hundred seventy Ford Mustang Mach 1, lovingly restored by his grandfather and given to him as a bday present in May. It’s an escape from the raunchy reality of living with Lesch–Nyhan syndrome, a infrequent genetic disorder that leaves the little boy restricted to a wheelchair—albeit an awesome wheelchair that was painted to match the car and nicknamed “Mach Two.”
But early Thursday morning, some vile scumbag busted one of the Mustang’s flap windows, threw in some fireworks, lit the fuses and fled, leaving the classic car engulfed in flames as it sat parked in Nino’s parents’ driveway in Springfield, Missouri. Knowing what it meant to Nino and how hard his grandfather must have worked, the pictures of the aftermath are devastating. The car’s entire midsection is utterly ruined.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, a neighbor spotted a “glow” from inwards the car at around Three:35 AM and called nine hundred eleven before alerting the family. Nino’s father Brett Welcome attempted to douse the flames, but the fire quickly spread from a seat cushion to the entire interior by the time firefighters arrived. Later that day, investigators told Welcome they discovered evidence of fireworks in the Mustang’s charred remains.
“Vandalism and things like that aren’t random to the people it impacts,” Welcome told KY3 News. “It might be funny to throw fireworks into somebody’s vehicle but, when you ruin the happiness and the very thing that a disabled seven-year-old boy loves, it’s wicked. It’s abhorrent.”
In the interview, Welcome expanded on his son’s love for the Mach 1. Nino talks about it permanently, always wants to rail in it, tells strangers about it when he meets them—in other words, the kid practically “define[s] himself” by the car,” Welcome said. And even however Nino’s physiological and neurological problems mean he’ll very likely never be able to drive, he falls asleep every night to bedtime stories starring him and his ‘Stang on all sorts of wild adventures.
Welcome told the News-Leader that the three hundred fifty one V-8 engine might be worth saving, but framework harm means the entire thing is likely a loss. There are reportedly no leads, and the family is appealing for anyone with information to come forward to police. Despite everything, tho’, Brett Welcome says his son is taking the situation like a champ.
“Aside from telling some choice words about ‘those idiots being in big trouble,’ Nino has taken the news like a plucky boy. He is sure that we can make it like fresh,” Welcome wrote on Facebook.
And that’s the working plan—either bring this car back from the grave, or find a suitable replacement. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family make it happen.