ROANOKE, Va. — A local body shop has come to the rescue of an openly gay college student who has had a tough time this year as vandals have defaced his car four times.
Radford University student Jordan Addison told WDBJ-TV that between March and May of this year his car was vandalized four times — once at his home and three times on-campus.
“The first time there were some homophobic slurs keyed into the side of it,” said Addison, “Then the second time I had dye keyed into it.”
Addison is convinced that his car was targeted because he’s openly gay. A homophobic slur written across one side of his car was impossible to remove or cover up he said.
“The lowest estimate I got just to fix the damage to the doors was like $2,500 and for a college student that’s a lot of money,” says Addison.
Forty six miles away in the city of Roanoke, Va., Richard Henegar, Jr., the manager at Quality Auto Paint and Body, along with his employees, decided to help Addison out for free.
“Once I saw the vandalism that was done to it I said that’s uncalled for we’re gonna fix your car that’s the least we can do,” says Henegar.
Henegar estimated the shop and its employees spent 100 hours in the last two weeks working on the car. There are new tires, a new paint job, tinted windows, new security system, and new stereo. The total cost was well over $10,000.
But according to Henegar, the effort to restore the young student’s car became a task that was embraced by ten other local automotive businesses around the Roanoke area.
“We can’t afford to do this ourselves,” says Henegar, “We might have all the good intentions in the world but I can’t finance something like this ourselves.”
The ten good samaritan businesses were Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon’s Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val’s Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ’s Landscaping, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa.
The new and improved car was unveiled to Addison on Monday and he was struck speechless.
“It looks great,” Addison told the television station, “It hasn’t looked that great the entire time I’ve had it.”
“We were glad to see he was pleased with it,” says Henegar.