KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- As motorcyclists gathered for a benefit ride Sunday, Knoxville Police Department Officer Norman Rickman struggled at fi rstto find the words to describe his feelings.
"I've had people come and shake my hand that were from all over," said Rickman, a 19-year KPD veteran. "It's a wonderful day. It's good to see people who care about what you do and that there are offi cers out there risking their lives. It's just a great feeling."
In May, Rickman was shot several times as he investigated a burglary call at 6600 Rockbridge Lane. As he recovers, area motorcyclists pitched in Sunday to help with a fundraiser for his daily expenses. Motorcyclists met in the parking lot at the Chrome Pony Saloon on Alcoa Highway in South Knoxville for the ride and benefi t. Their destination was Coyote Joe's on Clinton Highway in North Knoxville, where there would be live music, raffles and an auction to help raise money.
A Knoxville-area chapter of the Blue Knights, a motorcycle group for police officers, served as one of the sponsors of the ride and benefit. Other motorcycle groups
with members from the law enforcement community, such as the Iron Pigs and Blood Brothers, also participated.
Rickman was in the process of applying to the Blue Knights for membership in May when he was shot, he said.
"Officer Rickman is a new member of the Blue Knights, and we're proud to have him in our unit," said Dave Garner, a retired reserve member of the Knox County Sheriff's Office. "The way we look at it, the good Lord was looking over him that day he was shot."
It's the second time Rickman has been shot on duty.
Rickman said that his recovery is coming along slowly, but it's coming. He was shot May 20 and hospitalized until June 2. He said he'll start therapy for one of his shoulders soon.
He said he'd need a little bit more recovery time to ride the motorcycle he bought three years ago, a 1997 Honda Valkyrie, which is a "bigger bike."
Instead, he asked one of his sons to ride it for him Sunday.
"I took a trip on it this morning to get used to it," said Anthony Rickman, who had been looking forward to the ride all week.
Randy Gracy, a member of the Blue Knights and a publications manager for ride sponsor Handle Bars Magazine, said about 200 people and 125 motorcycles were at Sunday's event.
"Not a single problem for the entire ride," he said.
A Knox County grand jury indicted Cleven Jaquaren "Cleveland" Johnson, 26, on anattempted-murder charge earlier this month. Authorities also named two others in the burglary of the Rockbridge Lane residence: James William Murry, 33, and Tony R. Dixson, 17. Dixson was ordered to stand trial as an adult.