APD officers surprise teen with new car

APD officers Jason Borne and Tommy Sawin with Cody Morgan (KXAN Photo)
APD officers Jason Borne and Tommy Sawin with Cody Morgan (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN — It was just a normal Friday, or so senior Cody Morgan thought.

“As far as Cody knew, all we were going to do today was meet for lunch,” Officer Jason Borne said. “Then afterwards I said, ‘Let’s just go check out some cars and see what your trade-in value would be.'”

Little did he know, there would be a line of cars waiting for Cody to pick one and drive home.

“After the KXAN story ran, the next 24 hours increased our GoFundMe by over $3,000 and that’s when it really started becoming obvious that we were able to get him a new car.”

It all started back on Feb. 7, when Borne and his fellow officer, Tommy Sawin, got a call of a potential crash on the southbound flyover of MoPac Expressway and US 183. Borne was the first to show up and realized it was no crash, but a teen with a blown-out tire.

Officer Sawin showed up and, together, the two taught him how to change a spare tire. “Jason started showing him all the points in the car to put the jack, I started explaining to him lefty loosey, righty tighty to take off the rim. Well as he’s doing that, I look at the tire on top of the hood, I notice it’s after-market 14-inch tire,” Sawin said.

Cody Morgan’s old car (KXAN Photo)

Cody’s car, however, didn’t use 14 inch tires. Then officer Sawin noticed something else. “I walked around and noticed the driver’s side tire had a huge bubble and wires going everywhere.”

Together, the officers decided to tow the car and without a second thought, the two split the bill for brand new tires.

The car also needed some major repairs with front-end collision damage and alignment problems. So they started a GoFundMe page with the hopes of raising money to fix the problems.

What they got instead was enough money donated from the community to entirely replace the 16-year-old car.

“People say thank you to us but 180 people need thanks, because over 180 donations came in,” said officer Borne. “That’s incredibly awesome that 180 people took the time to make that donation.”

On Friday, at Nyle Maxwell in north Austin, Cody walked down the row of cars picked out just for him, all within the budget of the money raised.

“I’m just astounded, it’s a lot to take in,” Cody said. “I don’t know if I’m even having the proper reaction to this because, nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It’s awesome.”

After taking it for a test drive, Cody picked a 2010 blue Honda Accord — paid for by the money officers Borne and Sawin raised. And the best part of his new ride, it comes with a spare tire and jack.

“He’s got five tires. Five tires! This guys rolling,” Sawin said. Cody just got accepted into Texas A&M where he plans to study business. He says he’s thankful for a reliable ride to get him between home and school when he starts in the fall.

“Really all I can say is thank you. I mean, that’s all I can keep saying. I can’t do anything else except [to] pay it forward,” Cody said,

Officer Sawin said, “It’s a new car to him, it doesn’t matter if it’s brand new. It’s new to him and he’s gonna take this with him for the rest of his life.”

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