Paralyzed Douglas County detective given specialized wheelchair at motorcycle Honor Run

Det. Dan Brite honored at MC-1 Honor Run
Posted at 4:01 PM, Sep 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-30 20:32:45-04

LITTLETON, Colo. – Douglas County detective Dan Brite received some mobility help on Saturday.

During the 4th annual MC-1 Foundation Honor Run, organizers collected registration fees that went toward a specialized wheelchair for the deputy, who was injured after a suicidal man opened fire on deputies back in September of 2016. 

Hundreds of motorcycles filled a parking lot at Columbine High School, and even more people came out to support men and women in blue. MC-1's goal is to assist law enforcement officers and their families in the event of injury or death.

“They put their life on the line every day. They might think it's a simple traffic stop and it turns out to change their lives,” Matt Cristofano said.

Cristofano has attended the Honor Runs for the past four years. Saturday’s honoree was Detective Dan Brite.

“When you get hurt, you're kind of -- you know, you're expendable,” Tommy Barrella said as he described their line of work. Barrella is Brite’s friend and colleague at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“It's not the highest paying job in the world. There's no guarantees,” he added.

Outside of the office though, the love and encouragement between law enforcement officers is guaranteed -- and was apparent on Saturday.

“If we don't come out and support -- a lot of people don't want to come out and show that visible support,” Barrella said.

Denver7 caught up with Brite after he was presented with his new action wheelchair. He said the chair has given him his freedom and independence back.

“For now, the only way that we can ever repay people back is by paying it forward,” Brite said.

With this new action chair, he’s able to do things he wouldn't have been able to in a standard wheelchair, including traveling through tough terrain.

For now, Brite said he has a list of activities planned including antelope hunting next week, then fly fishing the week after.

While looking at Brite, Barrella said, “Dan's grateful every day he's alive and now he just wants to live.”