After Lake Worth woman’s 4 tires slashed, a community rallies to help

Melanie Hill didn’t know it when she woke up Wednesday, but it was going to be an interesting day.

Hill, a 40-year-old display artist, moved near downtown Lake Worth from West Palm Beach nine months ago.

“I moved to be closer to work,” she says. “And as an artist, I love the artistic and eclectic community. I also love I can take the boys for a walk downtown and find fun things to do on a whim.”

READ: New downtown Lake Worth shopping center almost complete

Wednesday morning, about 6:30 a.m., Hill got into her 2005 Volvo station wagon with her children. She tried backing out, but the car wasn’t moving.

Hill got out to see what was wrong. The sight surprised her.

All four tires were…slashed.

“I said, ‘this is weird,’” she recalls.

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Hill immediately called Mike Olive, a pastor at Common Ground Church and manager of The Bamboo Room. She has been going to the church with her 10-year-old son the past few months.

“I was scared,” she says. “I felt violated. I didn’t know who to call at 6:30 a.m., so I called my pastor. He was here within the hour and it was a huge blessing.”

Olive says he was really upset with what happened.

“She’s a single mom and things are tight,” Olive says.

He posted pictures of the car on Facebooksaying he would buy one tire, but he needed help in buying three more.

The response was instant.

“There are a lot of great people here,” Olive says. “Lake Worth really stepped up.”

Olive managed to get the car to a body shop where Olive paid $350 for four new tires. He said the church put out the money and will get reimbursed by the residents who helped out.

“It was a team effort,” Olive says.

Meanwhile, Hill couldn’t thank Olive enough for his help.

“This was such a huge blessing,” she says. “I work every day, I’m a single mom with two kids, daycare, aftercare, and this was such a relief to have this offered. He said, ‘We’re family and that I would do this for my daughter, my wife.’”

As for who actually slashed her tires, Hill said she had no idea.

“I’m a single mom with two kids, but I don’t mingle too much,” she says. “I have no family here and most of my friends are in Boca. And there’s no hatred to that level (with her boys two fathers).”

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office deputy who got the case told Hill he had a similar occurrence three blocks south of where she lives. He added that he knew of about five other similar cases.

“It’s totally malicious,” Hill says. “They’re not getting anything from it.”

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