Wearing a black motorcycle jacket emblazoned with “Live Free Ride Hard,” Rodney Long rolled down Fidelity Drive today on a gold Kawasaki Ninja.
Dozens of motorcycles followed behind him, filling the street with the thunderous roar of engines as they approached their destination. They arrived with toys, clothes and cash for two children injured Oct. 23 in a drive-by shooting in Durham. Aunehstii Hagans, 1, and Anaryiion Hagans, 3, were grazed by stray bullets that penetrated their home on a Sunday afternoon as their mother prepared dinner. Three men have been charged in connection with the shooting that injured them.
“I saw it on the news and immediately started thinking, ‘what can I do?’ ” said Long, a computer network engineer and founding president of Evolution Motorcycle Club in Raleigh. “There are so many things we can do in our community. Sometimes, the smallest little act can turn into something bigger.”
“No child should feel unsafe in their home,” the club’s Facebook post said. “… Let’s come together as a community and bring gifts of kindness to these children.”
More than 50 motorcyclists from 12 clubs delivered presents to the children, their mother, Dominique Hagans, and grandmother, Judy Leach, at their home in Durham. Brought to tears, Mrs. Leach and Ms. Hagans thanked the crowd. “Not everybody’s bad,” Mrs. Leach said.
Davontay “P-Nut” Rushing, president of Kingz & Queenz Riderz, rode his red Honda 171 miles from Charlotte to participate in the ride. “I’m always for the kids,” he said. “I’m a rider. I don’t care where it’s at. I’m going.”