Boy Trick-or-Treats in Miniature Tank After Foot Surgery, Thanks to Kind Neighbors

The boy looked like he was ready for battle as the tank was built over a power wheelchair.

Instead of missing out on trick-or-treating, a Michigan boy who recently underwent foot surgery drove around in a miniature tank on Halloween night, thanks to a generous friend who surprised him with the costume.

Karl Warm, 7, of Escanaba, Mich. rode around Tuesday night in a fully functional miniature tank, complete with sound effects and an air-powered cannon that shot foam golf balls.

“He was so excited when we rolled up to his house with it,” his neighbor Jamie Peterson, 40, told

Peterson explained his son Ty has been one of Karl’s best friends for years.

“It’s a wonderful friendship,” the father-of-two said. “He and Karl have just been very close. They love playing together, spending time together, birthday parties together.”

Several weeks ago, Karl was scheduled to have surgery on his feet and ankles. The boy was born with clubbed feet, and had to have additional surgery as his body grew.

“I think there was a little bit of nervousness,” Peterson said. “[His mom] was wondering how [Halloween] was going to work with Karl in a wheelchair and they have a younger son who was going to be running around trick-or-treating.”

That’s when Peterson and his son decided they would fashion a military-inspired, wheelchair-friendly costume for Karl, whose dad is a military veteran.

“The idea from his mother was originally building something over his push wheelchair, but Ty and I decided that just wasn’t going to work,” he said. “We needed to do something more impressive – something he can drive, so that’s where the power chair came from.”

The pair also enlisted the help of friends and neighbors in their community to help build the gadget.

Several days and much hard work later, Ty and his dad were ready to present the costume, even though it was not much of a surprise.

“I love my son Ty amazingly, but that kid cannot keep a secret for his life,” his dad joked. “He kept filtering little bits [of information] to either Karl or his mom.”

When the big night came, Peterson said “he had a crowd of followers wherever he went.”