CEDAR RAPIDS — A Kirkwood Community College student who is blind said Friday he was robbed this week after trying to do a good deed.
Patrick Dunfee said early Sunday morning, he got up to take his dog, York, outside at his apartment complex off Kirkwood Boulevard SW.
“I heard a kid on the sidewalk walking back and forth and I asked him what was going on and he said, ‘I am locked out,’” Dunfee said.
After a short conversation, Dunfee said he asked the man if he wanted to borrow his phone. The man said yes and they both went inside Dunfee’s apartment. Dunfee said the man used the bathroom, turned on his stereo, and even looked out the window before he took off with Dunfee’s cellphone, laptop and both of their chargers.
“I think he saw that I had a disability and he wanted to take advantage of it,” Dunfee said.
Dunfee said when he heard the window blinds move, he asked the man what he was looking for and the man told Dunfee he was checking to see if his roommate was outside.
Jerad Nylin, a friend of Dunfee’s, said he was furious when he heard the story.
“I have a visual impairment myself and to take from somebody who can’t see anything at all is disappointing,” Nylin said. He said Dunfee was just being the nice person that he always is. “I don’t know how someone could do something like this to him,” Nylin added.
On his laptop, Dunfee had a $1,100 program called JAWS that helps the visually impaired use computers. But without his laptop, Dunfee has had to find alternative ways to keep up with his schoolwork.
“Recently, my teachers have been reading my stuff to me. I’m pretty sure that gets annoying for them and I like to do it myself if I can,” Dunfee said.
Dunfee said he filed a police report the day of the incident and is confident that if he ever heard the man’s voice again, he would recognize it.
Dunfee said he knows he may never get his belongings back, but he said he is thankful only two of his three most prized possessions were taken — his dog York is the third.
Dunfee said his parents bought him a new cellphone and he might be able to get a loaner computer, but it’s still a situation he never thought he would be in just for offering someone some help.