News5 Follow up: Local contractors build elderly woman new deck - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

News5 Follow up: Local contractors build elderly woman new deck after being scammed

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A bad situation has a positive outcome, after a News5 Investigation into an elderly woman scammed out of $6,000 by a local contractor.  John Colon was supposed to build a new deck for Ruth Baer, instead he took the money and never finished the work, leaving Baer with a costly mess in her backyard.  But after seeing our report, other contractors in the area stepped up to give her a whole new deck, free of charge.

The ordeal has taken Baer on a roller coaster of emotions.

"I felt like I didn't know who I could trust then," said Baer after getting ripped off.

But on Saturday, four workers with Colorado Custom Decks and Mike Arriga with Noah's Restoration were at her house, building her the dream deck she thought she was getting in the first place.  

"I mean I worked all my life to build up my retirement and my savings and to have somebody come and take that money from me and not give me anything in return, I just was flabbergasted," said Baer.

Baer wasn't the only one outraged by the way Colon took advantage of her.

"It just hits close to home, cause it's in our community and you think of your own family, how would feel if somebody did that to you?" Said James Muckinhaupt, project manager for Colorado Custom Decks.

Arriga saw her story on News5 several weeks ago, and said he knew he had to do something to help her and bring her justice.

"I don't like somebody ripping somebody off, if that was my mother or something like that, that's the way I look at it, what goes around comes around," Arriga said.

So he started talking with other community members. He got Home Depot to donate all of the wood and Colorado Custom Decks to donate their time and skills.

"Since we happen to have this particular skill set it's great to be able to contribute something," said Muckinhaupt.

But when they arrived early Saturday morning, the workers first had to get rid of what little work the previous contractor had left behind, as the frame he built wasn't up to code and poorly constructed.

"They had to tear that all down this morning before they started working, and they've done such a beautiful job," said Baer.

With every nail, every piece of wood going into place, Baer's faith in her community and the kindness of others was being restored.

"I almost feel like that all of the things I've ever done for other people, they've repaid it in full right now," said Baer. "I wish I knew how I could thank them for it, but I don't know, nothing seems enough."

Arriga and the workers say her thanks is enough, all they care about is making this terrible situation right for her.

"It's about making this lady whole," said Arriga.

Baer ended up filing a police report on the original contractor, John "Jose" Colon.  He actually returned to her home to give her a promissory note to repay her some of the money he took.  However, Colorado Springs Police were also at her house at the same time and arrested Colon.

Baer has yet to get any of her money back from Colon.  As for her new deck built by Arriga and Colorado Custom Decks, it's ready for code inspection on Monday and then the railings will be installed. Arriga hopes to get the metal rails donated as well.

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