Bikers rally for injured Cape Coral police officer
Victory Lane Cafe in North Fort Myers was a scene of chrome and cacophony Saturday as hundreds of motorcycles roared, with bikers gearing up for a ride through Cape Coral to raise funds for the family of Damien Garcia, a Cape Coral motorcycle police officer who was critically injured in an accident on June 2.
Garcia was transported to a Miami hospital two weeks after he struck an SUV that pulled in front of him on Cultural Park Boulevard. He remains in critical condition.
Guided by a police escort, the bikers took a circuitous route before arriving at Geo’s off Pine Island Road, where they were greeted with food and live music by Matter of Faith.
Cpl. Kurt Poteet, one of Garcia’s instructors, praised him as a good rider and officer, and applauded the outpouring of support.
“He was a great rider. In that whole class he was one of the above average riders,” Poteet said.
“It’s really heartwarming to know the community is supporting one of our officers,” he added.
The rally’s success helped some hold out hope for Garcia’s recovery.
“We’re hopeful each day is better for him,” said Cape Coral Councilmember Dolores Bertolini, who attended the event at Geo’s but did not ride.
“He’s young, he’s exuberant, he’ll fight through this,” she added.
Bertolini, whose son is a biker, said supporting each other through tough times is a trait of the biking community.
“This is what riders do all over the country. If they know someone in need they gather together for the cause,” Bertolini said.
Saturday’s fund-raiser is far from the last for Officer Garcia. A bucket drive will be held at Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on Pine Island Road on July 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.