Community shows support for wounded Craven County deputy with benefit ride

New Bern

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — In early October, Craven County Sheriff’s deputy Zach Bellingham, was shot in the line of duty.

Saturday morning was a way to support him during this time as the Veteran Enforcers Motorcycle Association and community members rode through Craven County to raise money for Bellingham.

He was released from Vidant Health in Greenville three weeks ago, and he’s now at Shepherd’s Rehabilitation Center in Atlanta. Officials said he’s making progress.

“He started feeling a little bit of feeling in his feet and that was a good sign because initially they didn’t know if he was ever going to have any feeling or recover at all, but then just a couple days ago, a family member of his posted a video of him kicking one of his legs,” said Kevin Yates, Commander of the New Bern Chapter of VEMA.

“He’s in great spirits,” said Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes. “He does know it is going to be a long run to recovery, but I ask this community to just keep him and my deputies in their hearts and prayers.

“We believe that is what is going to pull him through. We don’t know how long time wise it will be, but we are all anxious to get him back.”

VEMA organized the event, which 75 riders roared their engines.

“He has a lot of medical expenses, and he is basically having to learn how to live life off all over again,” Yates said.

As of Saturday morning, they already raised $10,000. The goal was to reach $12,000 before the day was over.

“There’s going to be so many unknown expenses,” Hughes said. “We’re just trying to get as much money as we can together to help him and his family through this transition.”

While Bellingham is still in his journey to recovery, Hughes said events like this help boost Bellingham’s and the Sheriff Department’s spirits.

“This has been a heartbreaking situation we have gone through, but for the community and these groups to just show up and support Deputy Bellingham like they have, it’s just words can’t express our appreciation,” Hughes said.

Checks can be sent to Friends of Craven County Sheriff’s Office at P.O. Box 1822-6 South Glenburnie Rd. PMB 266 in New Bern, 28562. Put “Deputy Bellingham” on the check. You can also click here to access a PayPal account set up for donations.

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