Thursday, November 14, 2019

‘Trolley man’ becomes national hero in Australia

Sky News:-  A homeless man who used a shopping trolley in an effort to stop a terrorist attack has become a national hero.

campaign set up to help Michael Rogers has raised almost AUD105,000 (£58,000) in donations from those grateful for his attempts to stop Hassan Khalif Shire Ali.

Ali blew up a vehicle packed with gas cylinders on Friday before stabbing three members of the public, killing 74-year-old restaurant owner Sisto Malaspina.

As Ali turned his knife on police officers who were trying to stop him, Mr Rogers, 46, grabbed an empty shopping trolley and attempted to shove it towards him.

Mr Rogers told Melbourne newspaper The Age that his actions had been “spur of the moment”.

“I just wanted to help and do something right for the first time in me life.”

He told Channel Seven: “I have seen the trolley to the side, so I’ve picked it up and I ran and threw the trolley straight at him.

“Got him but didn’t get him down.

“And I did that motion about – quite a number of times, but it just wasn’t getting him down,” he said.

As Mr Rogers tried to help police, he was just metres away from the burning vehicle.

His actions were filmed by witnesses and he became known as ‘trolley man’ on social media.

Mr Rogers has not always been on the right side of the police, telling Australian media that he has been in and out of jail over the past few decades and has a history of drug abuse.

He has a public housing apartment but “for a number of reasons chooses to be homeless”, according to The Age.

Donna Stolzenberg, the founder of registered charity Melbourne Homeless Collective, is behind the fundraising effort for Mr Rogers.

Ms Stolzenberg said: “As a person, he just deserves it.”

She added that the charity will help find him support with financial literacy, housing and making sure nobody took advantage of him once he had the large sum of money.

The other two victims of the terrorist – Rodney Patterson, 58, and a 24-year-old security guard who has not been publicly named – are in a stable condition in hospital.

The terrorist, who was of Somali origin and had been known to Australia’s police and security service, was shot by officers and died in hospital.

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